Library, part III

When I was a kid, library books had holders in the inside back cover. When you went to borrow the book, the librarian would date-stamp a slip of paper with the date the book was due, and then put that paper in the holder. With the advent of computers and barcode scanners, this is outdated technology. The same goes for card catalogs, those huge file cabinets with drawers filled with cards with information about books. Believe me, it took real skill to navigate the card catalog to find the book you were looking for. With the advent of searchable computer databases, card catalogs no longer exist.

So why is it that new library books still have them? Weird!








Library, part II

Consider Mr. Melville Dewey, founder of the Dewey Decimal book classification system. He has had an affect on every single library user around the world who walked thorugh the stacks searching for a book. His goal was nothing less than to take the sum total of written academic language and categorize, classify, and prioritize it all.

I am fascinated about what he boosted, what he marginalized, and what he ignored entirely.



Library, part I

I visited a school with a library (which is the exception, not the rule…the library, that is, not my visitation. I peruse school libraries if I see them). In the bookcase closest to the door was this collection of Chicken Soup for the… books. Maybe there was a sale by the publisher?

Finger Pencil

A teacher had this pencil for a student with limited manual dexterity and/or cannot grasp a stylus. This pencil snaps onto a finger. Twist the top to advance the graphite.

Paint Cubes

Pour your acrylic paint into an ice tray with a popsicle stick in the middle. Freeze. Remove and paint. This is as cool as it sounds (no pun intended).

Wheelchair Lift on 3rd Floor

I was at a school in Manhattan that had a 3rd floor auditorium. Near the stage was a wheelchair lift, for hoisting wheelchair users up to the stage. It was probably installed to satisfy accessibility mandates. Ironically, there are no elevators in the building, so it is highly unlikely that anyone using a wheelchair will make it up to the 3rd floor.

The wheelchair lift — which probably cost a mint to purchase and install — is filled with garbage and detritus….

June 2018