love in the stacks

I love our closed stacks.

I wasn't so sure about them at first. I mean, it's scary back there. The floor is glass and very sci-fi. This scary glow comes up when the lights are on on the floor below. The lights are just exposed bulbs. Some floor panels on the sides are pieces of plywood that look like they might not hold some of the kids that come in for story time, never mind me.

Plus the ghost. Alledgedly there is a ghost in the closed stacks. I don't know where I stand on the paranormal issue, but I guess if I were a dead bibliophile, that's probably where I'd hang out. And it certainly makes you want to believe, being in there at night.

But the books are beautiful. I love old books (this is where we keep things that don't circulate, can't circulate, or are otherwise not really needed in the main library), even though I understand that most of them have really minimal value, relatively speaking. I found a book on Dorothea Dix from the late 1800s. It wasn't anything special, but it was just neat.

Actually, know what I like? I like the really neat librarian handwriting that goes on the bookplate. And the cataloging information. The script is just gorgeous.

Library geek journal entry. We will return to our regularly scheduled systems/reference/duties as assigned posting tomorrow.


I just knew beneath all the techie stuff I couldn't understand, there was a "real" librarian.

The translucent glass floors with the lights shining up from below are actually "Snead Stacks" (unless, of course, they're "Sneed stacks", I'm not sure of the spelling right now) This is a very traditional form of bookstack. In my library we don't have glass, but just plate steel. For more information about this type of library construction (in ch.9), and all sorts of other neat book history, see

Petroski, Henry. The Book on the Bookshelf. New York : Knopf, 1999.

Oddly enough, I was just looking at that book on Amazon... Perhaps I'll order it. It never fails, I forget to bring a book home when I have Thursdays and I am bored as sin on the Fridays I have off.

Or you could just get it from your library:
Nonfiction 022.409 P497b 21 day loan In Library

The catalog! Eeeek! Actually, having spent quite a bit of time down in that particular aisle the other day, I seem to have overlooked it. Or someone misshelved it. All very possible.

I'll take a look again. The Publisher's Weekly review on Amazon didn't look too love dovey, so perhaps it is a check out. Or better yet, read on lunch break.

Question for you: are you accessing the lovely cough iPac at home (or at least, at a non-public-library-location), and is it giving you file not found errors frequently? I've had it happen a few times. I need to report that.

I'm accessing from my office in London, Ontario, Canada. I had no "file not found" errors, but I just did a simple author search.

I'm surprised that publisher's weekly didn't like it. Petroski is a very good writer and popularizer of engineering topics. I thought it was very good, but I'm the engineering librarian and think that the history of the book is a cool topic.

Publisher's Weekly did mention it was a little heavy on the engineering and less on the "content on the bookshelf" (my quote, not theirs, though I think their quote was similar) so that was probably why they found it so-so. I'm kind of into the geek factor of stuff like that, so I might find it interesting. It would be nice to whip out some obscure fact on the shelving we use to one of the other librarians, so they can think I've totally lost it. Hee hee.

I can consistently reproduce my iPac (cough) error on both my computers on title searches. I've only had one other person complain of that, but I guess it can't hurt them to look into it downtown. Heh. They must be so sick of me, poor souls.

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