Thursday, January 26, 2006

From the front lines: Snakes Alive!

Big A little a has a post on snake books. Last week while subbing at elementary school, I was hit over the head by the popularity of all things reptilian with young readers.

Re-shelving library books is not a job that seems glamorous or inspiring but it is so important. If a library is lucky enough to have a great volunteer force (bless them all!) -- re-shelving happens. If there are not loads of volunteers then re-shelving occurs when there are not classes to be read to, when teachers do not need help, when the library aide is not being pulled out of the library (to cover a class, unjam the laminator, put out a "fire" in the admin wing,) or when there is not another yet form to be filled out with stats to document the importance of the library program.

Last week I began sorting books for re-shelving so I could take a stack to the shelves and re-file the books more quickly. As I sorted the 500's (Dewey Decimal system) I began to crack up as the 597.9 (Reptiles) stack grew and grew and grew. It finally got so high I had to divide it into two stacks.

It beat the other Dewey sections hands down. The runner up was the 595s, specifically 595.4 (Spiders) and 595.7 (Insects.) I wish I had taken a picture. The stacks of books were a concrete bar graph of the areas of highest (nonfiction) reading interest.

6 comments:

Susan said...

Camille, that's a hoot. When I do my volunteer shift at my son's school library, I always have to remember my glasses, so I can get all those 500's in the right spot. Anything dog-related is also popular.

Billy said...

Just in case anyone is interested and hasn't yet heard about the Poetry Read-A-Thon organized by the Academy of American Poets, take a look: http://www.poets.org/page.php/prmID/318

Kelly said...

That's really funny, Camille! Nice to know Susan and I are not alone with our little snake fans :)

Chris Barton said...

Speaking of the Dewey Decimal system, have you seen Jonathan Furner's Dewey blog? Check out its posts on 300-399 Social sciences for a taste of just how much he loves the DDC...

Erin O'Brien said...

Wonder how high the "Everything you wanted to know about the opposite sex" pile would be. Hmm.

Camille said...

Susan, you will earn more $$ at other jobs but there is no more important job than getting those books back on the shelves. Thank you for your service.

Chris, Jonathan is a Dewey wunderkind. Hokey smokes Bullwinkle, that is amazing!

Erin, At the elementary level the 5th graders are only just beginning to ponder this.