Friday, June 1, 2007

the big "O"

that's right ... today we are going to have a little discussion about something in the biz we call: organization. why, what did you think i was going to say? c'mon, get your mind out of the gutter.
i have a degree in organizing. granted, i do not use these skills in my own home or in my personal life in general but i have the ability to organize if i so chose. i think that's part of the deal. you can only use these powers inside of a library. anyway, today i am working in yet another new branch (nomadic librarian that i am) and when i was getting the tour i kept hearing this one phrase over and over again. what was the phrase you ask? "this section isn't really in any order." now, i will accept that sometimes, like with a media collection so small it's not worth the time to organize it. or with picture books and paperbacks where you might just have the section in quasi-alphabetical order. meaning that all the authors whose last name start with "A" are together, then all the "B" names, but no order within each letter category. fine. sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. but to have quasi-order be the highest level of organization your library achieves? that's a little sad. c'mon, have a little self-respect. we can do better than this. so my tour guide explained to me that one of their pages* recently graduated and blah blah blah they can't keep their books in order. but i didn't buy this excuse. this lack of organization was all-encompasing and did not seem to be a new development.
so i ask you: if we don't select and purchase books, and we can't keep items in strict order ... what are we?

*page: a paid position in a library, typically filled by a local teenager, whose sole responsibility is to put away books in their proper place as well as to keep the shelves in order

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