Posted tagged ‘libraries’

I bet this didn’t happen at the Library of Alexandria

September 22, 2012


 

The good thing about libraries is searching the online catalogue. If your local does not have the book you want on its shelf you can request a transfer of your chosen book from another library to your nearest. If there isn’t a waiting list, in a few days your selection will be ready to pick up. This is good.

Stepping into a library can be bad. Not all bad, I might add. Browsing through the tomes of the Encyclopaedia Britannica is always a delight. True, you can’t hire it out but reading this work of reference in the confines of the study room is an intellectual enchantment that is right up there with getting a question right on University Challenge.

As usual, economics and lack of money contribute to the downfall of libraries. Before the reading rooms were a place of knowledge and wonder, now they are a shabby affair denizened by uncouth individuals that are loud and trashy. How did it come about that drinking and eating was allowed in these premises?

Wandering through my local I was saddened to see so many buckets placed around the floor. Obligatory warning signs near the pails notified patrons to beware of the leaks. The roof was coming in on the library. When it rains, as it usually does in these parts, the drops cascade from the ceiling. It is now part of a librarian’s duties to empty the buckets.

One thing that was amazing was the fact that all the rainfall was missing the shelves and the fragile paper that books are made of. Was this a coincidence, I asked the librarian? No, she said. If the leak is dropping on the books they move the shelves to another location, a dry location. What they’re doing is the same as a superstore when it changes its layout; another thing that makes my blood boil. Where’s the bananas? What have you done with the bananas?

In a nutshell, the leaks are calling the shots round here. The librarian did add that if the water was falling on Ceri Radford’s books they let nature take its course with all the catastrophic circumstances that would happenstance. Now, many is the time I’ve wanted to burn Ceri’s books, the library prefers to drown them.

Finally, it baffles me why any one would want to go to a library to use a computer. Having experimented once when the internet provider was down, it was a slow, slow, slow experience. Three shaves I had waiting on the Sky Sports webpage to load. Yet, still the computer terminals are used by the foolhardy. I eyed them as they sat and stared at a buffering screen. I was about to leave the building when an expectant hush came over the atmosphere.

“He’s here” said an unshaven patron of the computer aisle.

At the risk of sounding like Bud Costello in a prehistoric comedy routine, I asked Beardy “Who’s here?”

“The computer whisperer.”

Silence reigned along with the raindrops that…rained….into the buckets. Drip, drip, drip. The computer whisperer took up a position near a monitor. He mumbled at the screen. I edged closer to hear. He made another inaudible mutter.

“What’s he saying?” I was met with a tremendous SHHUUSSSHHHH by the irate online operators. Silence is meant to be golden round here so I stilled myself. You could have heard a pin drop if not for that annoying drip.

The whisperer continued his quiet soliloquy with the processors. His soft tones registered with the machines. The workstations clicked into action. Soon the computer screens were alive with high-speed resolution. An applause rang out for the departing computer whisperer. He had other appointments. My computer’s a bit on the slow side at the moment. I rushed out after him