Elementary, My Dear Watson
I was thinking today about library school, and some of the things I have learned this past semester, and decided to try and apply them. Ranganathan's Laws contain among them 2 that I've decided are the most interesting:
2. Every book his/her reader
3. Every reader his/her book
Now taking these rules, and focusing on my branch's collection I can deduce many things.
Our collection is very complete, but there are certain areas that I've noticed contain a bit more stock than others. These would be sex education, substance abuse, graphic novels, home repair, pop film/music, WWF, and travel. Mind you, we do have lots of other books. As a page I get to shelve all of them, and find myself amused over and over again by titles that rest next to each other. In one instance, this was the kama sutra, right next to a book about the teachings of Ghandi. Who would have thought to do this but our dearly departed Dewey.
So back to my neighborhood. One could pull from this that we have alot of sex hungry, drug addicted people living in well finished homes, who enjoy retiring in the evening to watch a bit of SmackDown, then tune into a little travel network.
OR one could suppose that our patrons like to travel to comic book conventions, while listening to the latest Rufus Wainright CD, and wrestle down a drug dealer.
Another blatant possibility is that our customers would enjoy watching Ian Wright have sex with one of the glamourous ladies of wrestling, after having downed two bottles of Nyquil and an eight ball.
Or of course, this could mean that there are a bunch of nurses, with a penchant for wrestling who enjoy current culture and interior design.
Whatever it means, we certainly have a diverse crowd in the library. Where else could I be surrounded by a man making an anitomical collage, sitting next to a teen mom feeding her baby, across from a lawyer, who had just passed by an elderly woman, who had just opened the door for 6 teenagers? OK, so this does sound like a mental hosptial's waiting room --but thats not what I was getting at. It doesn't take Sherlock Holmes (or Jessica Fletcher for that matter) to deduce that the library is the melting pot of the community. Our readers do dictate our collection, but the point is THEY USE IT.
Now if we could only get more books about really hot gay jewish librarians. So maybe my boyfriend wouldn't like that, but it would be fun to see who checked out the books.