The Scamp Visits the Library

When I got robbed at Christmas, one of the things that was taken from me was the book that I am using for my dissertation. It was written by a well known author and poet, and not hard to find, but because it isn’t in print anymore, the copies of the book are quite expensive. Since I didn’t get any money from insurance (all of that went to the robot) I did not replace my copy.

Thank sweet baby Jesus for public libraries.

The La Habra library had a copy of the book, and a quick search of the database this morning let me know that the copy was available. The mama and I went over to the library this morning to get the book so I can start the analysis of part of my project. I love the La Habra library. I grew up there. I volunteered for a literacy organization that  operated out of the conference room there. I worked there for four years while I was in high school. I have read most of the books on the shelves.

When we went in today, I knew exactly where the book was going to be. I started my library career in charge of maintaining the children’s section, and since the layout of the library hasn’t changed in 20 years, I just about knew what shelf the book would be on. When I got to the shelf though….no book. Since the books are shelved in alphabetical order by author, I knew I was in the right section. I looked through the books on the shelf thinking maybe it was just stuck between other books (after all, not every little kid in this city…or some adults for that matter, understand the alphabet).

Nothing. I knew from my earlier search that there are copies of the book at most of the libraries in Orange County, and getting a copy wouldn’t be a problem, but I was there, and I really didn’t want to have to shelp across town to another library. Since I have so much experience in libraries, I looked on the surrounding shelves and finally found the book, not shelves with the SOT books, but with the SHI books.

Really?

If it was just Chato’s Kitchen that was in mis-shelved, I would have been okay. The problem was though, all of Gary Soto’s books were shelved there, suggesting that the library page re-shelving the books did not properly learn their ABCs. This both annoys me and makes me laugh because I was fired from the library when I was a senior in high school because the head librarian was convinced that I didn’t know how to read the numbers on the books. She thought the disorganization and chaos that plagued the library was due to me, and had nothing to do with the fact that many people in the city are barely literate in their first language let alone English and had no concept of the Dewey decimal system, or that the library is down the street from the local middle school and the kids like to hang out there after school and mess up shelves and basically run amok in the stacks. Nooooooooooooooooooooooo, it was my fault. When I left she suggested I get my eyes checked for a possible deficiency.

I cried in my car when it happened, but it has since because one of the better jokes in my family. I even wrote a short story about it for a creative writing class in college. To this day, I still consider it some of my best work.

I’m happy that I found the book, and that I can move into the next phase of my project, but I am still stressing a bit about the time. I haven’t heard from my supervisor in a week, and since she has yet to look over my literature review, I am a bit worried. I have about two weeks left before I need to be done writing and on to final edits and proofreading. With the final deadline fast approaching I am about to become even more of a hermit than I already am.

I will be very happy when this paper is done.

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