or, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Fear and Loathing at a Public Library Reference Desk


Another Case of Dewey Being Overly-Sophisticated

   August 28th, 2014 Brian Herzog

both way arrowsI've pointed out things like this before, and they always amuse me.

Last week, my director was looking for summer cooking books for a display and program she was doing. Of course, books about grilling were included in her search, and she was surprised - as was I when she pointed it out - that we had identical-seeming grilling books in two entirely different Dewey numbers: 641.5784 and 641.76.

When our cataloger and I looked those up in DDC23 to see which was right, we found that they both were:

641.5784:

Dewey 641.578 4 - Cooking at an outdoor grill

641.76:

Dewey 641.76 - Barbecuing, broiling, grilling

So, .76 is grilling in general, and .5784 is specifically grilling outdoors. Indeed very neat and precise, but perhaps to an unnecessary degree for our purposes.

We decided to consolidate everything into 641.76, to make it easier for patrons browsing the shelves. I'm sure there are lots more little Deweified topics like this, and I will enjoy consolidating each and every one of them as we discover them.

And finally, I thought a post about grilling was nice and Labor Day-related: I'm traveling to Ohio for a long Labor Day weekend, so there's won't be a reference question of the week this week. I hope everyone enjoys the holiday.



Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,



Courting Disasters

   April 5th, 2011 Brian Herzog

During a recent weeding, I found these two books in our collection:

Two books called Courting Disaster

At first I thought it was different editions of the same book, but then realized they were different books - different authors, publishers, and copyright dates, but same title, same photo, and very similar design. Huh.

I know that cover design is usually beyond the realm of the author, and it's unfortunate that it is always the author that comes out looking bad when something like this happens.

However, take into consideration that Courting Disaster is actually not an uncommom book title, as the phrase works on so many levels.



Tags: , , , , , , ,



Bookshelf FAIL

   January 20th, 2011 Brian Herzog

This just makes me laugh...
Bookshelf FAIL



Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,



Ahmadinejad Classification System

   August 26th, 2010 Brian Herzog

I recently noticed in our Reference collection one of the quirks of the Dewey Decimal System that people often refer to as "serendipitous" - but look at the picture below to see if you also see a problem:

Ahmadinejad Classification System

The books that caught my eye are these (biggify the photo to see the Dewey numbers):

And here's the Dewey breakdown:

809 - History, description, critical appraisal of more than two literatures
809.91-.92 - Literature displaying specific qualities and elements
809.933 - Literature dealing with specific themes and subjects

I didn't see .927 described in either DDC21 or DDC22, but it was the call number specified in that book's CIP data (©1987), so it must have been phased out long ago.

And so, I get that these books are each about specific kinds of literature. But come on - a book about the Holocaust shelved between two books about imaginary things? It really is like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and other fool Holocaust deniers got into OCLC and caused this to happen - a cataloger sleeper cell.

I'm going to talk with my Head of Technical Services to see how we can fix this.



Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,



Multi-Purpose Room

   December 10th, 2009 Brian Herzog

So, Tuesday's post about a library WIN is contrasted with today's library FAIL:

Picture by: dunno source Submitted by: Rick via Fail Uploader

This is the bathroom of a Library in the City of Mesa, Arizona. I asked where the vending machine was to get sugar for my blood-sugar level, and the employee said follow me. I followed her to the bathroom and was scared at first… I feared rape. Then I saw it… The vending machine was less than 2 feet away from the John… Awesome-sauce.

Seems odd, but the explanation is in the comments. Along these lines, we had a photocopier in our bathroom for about three months, which had its own story.

And "awesome-sauce" is my new favorite phrase.



Tags: , , , , , , , ,