I love libraries. I always have. The only job I have ever had has involved working in a library. In the last 12 years I have worked in 3 different libraries and become very familiar with the ins and outs of them. I’ve been in good libraries, bad libraries, public libraries and university libraries, but none of those libraries compare to the ones at the University of Edinburgh. The library here makes me feel like an idiot. Books show up in the catalog that are not actually part of the collection, or books appear on the shelves that do not appear in the catalog. Today’s hunt had me on three separate floors after two trips to a computer to verify the call number in the catalog. Ever since the great library firing of 2005 when the branch manager told me she thought I needed classes because I couldn’t see the numbers, I double, and sometimes triple check what I write down, and today was no different. After checking to make sure that I was right, I went back to the shelves and looked for the elusive critical literacy book. No luck. I went downstairs to ask one of the librarians for help, and after a 20 minute search, it was concluded that the book was either at a desk or study cube with someone, or had been improperly shelved. Either way, I was out of luck, and I was free to come back and check to see if it had been returned.
I’m going to take this to mean the universe is telling me to take a break today and read one of the crime novels I checked out from the public library. Critical democratic power sharing pedagogy can wait until tomorrow.