Archive for July, 2009

Let’s just slap Melvil Dewey and the Library of Congress in the face

Posted in Me, Misc. on July 18, 2009 by Annette Budd


Introducing the new Southglenn Public Library

Ok – now I am going to grumble.

The closest library to us recently closed for a month while it relocated.  I was very excited about this. It relocated to the Southglenn Mall . . . just a couple of minutes from my home.  I use the library all the time.  A new library opening is a big event in my life.  I’ve been counting the days.  As much as I hate the “typical homeschooler stereotype”, a love of libraries and books is a part of who am I.  I do not wear denim jumpers. My girls do not wear dresses with tennis shoes. My kids cannot win spelling bees. (If you are reading this Kristin, I want you to know that I am extremely proud of your three who made it to the National Spelling Bee.) Baking my own bread is out of the question. So, other than having an abnormally large family and loving books, I don’t fit the stereotype.

What I found today was just . . . offensive.

I knew I was going to be in a hurry, so I found the call numbers of a list of books that I wanted before arriving.  I thought I would just take the list and pull things from the shelves.  It’s a library. Things are supposed to be pretty standardized.  They have ALWAYS been that way at EVERY library to which I’ve ever been.

Books are no longer grouped according to a number system in adult non-fiction. I had to go to a librarian for help.  (I would like to say that the librarians there were available and ready to help with pleasant attitudes. At least that hasn’t changed.) The librarian told me that they had arranged the books in a way to make the patrons feel like they were in a bookstore.  I can see where this kind of environment has a welcoming warm feeling.  It does look very nice.  IT JUST IS NOT PRACTICAL!

The librarian also looked at my list of books, which contained things like Romeo and Juliet, The Odyssey, Pilgrim’s Progress and Profiles in Courage. These kind of books should be the staples of a library.  Only one book on my long list was at the library. It wasn’t that the copies of these books were checked out. They simply did not carry those kinds of books.  It was kind of like a kitchen that didn’t have any salt.  This made no sense to me.

The friendly librarian went on to explain that this library wasn’t really designed for students or learning. She suggested that I go to another library if that was what I wanted to do.  WHAT!?!?!? If you can’t go to a library to learn, where are you supposed to go? She did say that I could request books online from other libraries and they would be delivered to this one. I will do that but what if I don’t know what book I want?  I guess the days of pondering over long shelves of books and finding something new and interesting to me will not happen here.