Library Nubbin
April 8, 2008, 8:47 am
Filed under: Books, Library | Tags: , , ,

One of the joys of working in the library is the fact that people assume that because I am behind the desk, I can’t actually hear what they are saying. I overhear pretty awesome/terrible things because of that.

One of the other joys of working in the library is that oddly enough, despite being at a major academic institution, a research university, there are some IMPRESSIVELY STUPID PEOPLE here. It never fails to amaze me.

A few weeks ago…

Patron: I need a book from reserve. I don’t know the call number, or the title, or the author. I’m not in the class, so I don’t know the prof’s name or the class name. I just know it’s blue.

*stunned silence*

Katrina: I’m sorry, we don’t organize the library by color.

…and then yesterday….

Patron: Will you look up this book for me and tell me what color it is so I can find it?

*stunned silence*

Katrina: I’m sorry, we don’t organize the library by color.

Really! We don’t! I know it’s a surprise, but we have ALOT of books here. In fact, the ULS webpage says, ” The University of Pittsburgh libraries and collections provide a wealth of information and services to the faculty, students, staff, administrators, and researchers of the University. In fiscal year 2004, the University’s collections totaled more than 4.6 million volumes and more than 45,000 periodical subscriptions. Of this total, the ULS has approximately 3.9 million volumes. Our collection of electronic resources is growing rapidly and now includes thousands of databases, over 25,000 electronic journal titles, and over 170,000 electronic books.” Impressive, right? I know! But when you only ever see the first floor of Hillman library, where our stacks are short and spread-apart, surrounded by lots of tables and chairs for your studying, you might have the misunderstanding that those are our ONLY BOOKS.

There are 7 distinct colors (Roy G. Biv, anyone?). Including white, brown, black, and gray, you get 11. By sheer chance, that means that there are probably somewhere around 460,000 books of any given color. Do you really want to go up into the stacks and pick up 460,000 books before you find the correct one? I didn’t think so. GO GET THE DAMN CALL NUMBER.

(I love my job, I love my job, I love my job…)


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