Venn Librarian

Reflections about the intersection of schools, libraries and technology.

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Catching up with school librarians

Posted by lpearle on 11 January 2006

Maud pointed to this conversation:

(at the Barnes & Noble in Brooklyn Heights)

Lady: Excuse me, but I’m looking for a book.

Store chick: And?

Lady: I don’t remember the title or author, but the cover is purple.

Store chick: Our purple books are downstairs.

Lady: They sent me up here.

Store chick: We’re sold out of purple books. You want something in a yellow?

Now, the ordinary response is to giggle at this, right? “How absurd”

Except – and all my school librarian friends will agree – this is the sort of request we get all the time.

  • “Ms. Pearle, last year I took out that book with the red cover. Can I borrow it again?”
  • “Where’s that book about the dog?”
  • “I was working on a project and saw a picture of a pyramid. Which book was it in?”
  • “My friend in the other class read a book with ponies on the cover. I don’t want that one but the other one she read.”

All part of a day’s work here at MPOW. Glad to see that Barnes & Noble is keeping up.

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3 Responses to “Catching up with school librarians”

  1. bri said

    Ahhh, yes… the daily attempts to discern what the heck the kids are describing: “It was about this dragon and a kid and they had an adventure.” Actually, if you get the dragon, you’re lucky. At least that narrows it down. Color can work, though. I find I know books by their spines better than their covers sometimes. And then there are the administrators and teachers who come in and do the same thing!

  2. Lazygal said

    LOL. Last year, I had just done inventory and a teacher came in and asked for “that book with the pictures you bought for me last year”. I went right to the shelf and pulled it out – talk about stunning your audience! Of course, that only works with small collections and areas you really know well. Here, with 30,000+ items, it’s harder to be that amazing.

  3. Jen said

    Or more generically, “I want a princess book,” when what they mean is a freaking DI$NEY princess. We can go through ALL of 398.2 and reject each and every one as being insufficiently princessy. Bleah.

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