Thursday, May 27, 2010

Let`s stop alphabetizing, too

posted Wed, 18 Jul 2007

Me: Where is the section with the 976s? The 300s and the 929s are over here, but there’s nothing in between and nothing past 929.

Reference librarian: Yes, that’s genealogy and social sciences. The 976s are over there in the history section.

Me: Why do you bother to put numbers on the books if they aren’t going to be put in numerical order?

Librarian: Well, you can’t have genealogy and history in the same section. They are very different subjects.

Me: ????

Librarian: Except there are some books that might be history and genealogy. What do you do then? If it’s an autobiography, it might be of interest both to historians and genealogists. So then you file it in both sections.

Me: Wouldn’t it be cheaper just to put the books in numerical order and just buy one copy of the book?

Librarian: Oh, no. Then you would have the historians and the genealogists in the same section.

Me: Like the ranchers and the farmers.

Librarian: Exactly!

Me: We certainly can’t have that. Those National Librarian Association meetings must be something else.

Librarian: Oh, yes. There is a lot of discussion about where to put different books.

Me: Do the Library of Congress people try to duke it out with the Deweys?

Librarian: Have you ever been to the Library of Congress? Or another really big library? Let me tell you, you are going all over the place trying to find a book there.

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