It’s happened again! After several months on the library waiting list, it was finally, finally my turn to get my hands on the book I had heard so much about: A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. I was so excited! I had heard so many good things. That it was one of the great works of contemporary literature. Moving. Award-winning. Incredibly done. Continue reading →
When checking the mail a couple of weeks ago, my wife was surprised to see a piece of correspondence from our local library. After opening it, she was even further surprised to see that it contained a notice informing her that, if she did not pay her outstanding late fees (at that time amounting to approximately $17), she would be sent to collections. She was given a week to comply. We were both outraged.
Before I say anything disparaging, let me first make clear that I probably live in the best public library system in the country, if not the world. The facilities are exceptional, they have an unbelievably current and comprehensive selection, the librarians are friendly and intelligent and well-read. And the wait-list system itself is wonderful and very useful. Pretty much any book you can think of, my library system has it, usually several copies, often in multiple media (i.e. hard copy, large print, CD, e-book). And I can request a hold on a book from any library in the system, to any library in the system, and it will usually be there in a week or less. Very efficient and necessary to my insatiable reading needs.
For as far back as I can remember, I have strongly believed that libraries are just about the coolest places around. I love the books, the ambience, the possibilities. But I have come to realize that one of the most unsung yet greatest parts about libraries is their librarians. Intelligent, helpful, bookish, they are great sources of information. I have received many excellent book recommendations over the years from thoughtful librarians, especially Dunce One, aka The World’s Strongest Librarian.
When I went to the library this week, I was disturbed to discover that I could not seem to find the poetry section. I don’t go to this particular branch too frequently, and I knew they had recently done some remodeling, but after a considerable search, I still had found nary a tome. Finally, in desperation, I asked a librarian. Continue reading →