What do our libraries say about us?

My personal library says I’m a huge geek who wants to read about kickass women. It’s pretty unambiguous on this point.

But my hometown library sometimes sends conflicting messages. For example, today I learned that in our “children’s artists” music section, we have ten, yes ten, CDs by a group called “Trout Fishing in America.” In comparison, we only have two by Raffi.

(Of course, it took three hours of organizing to reach these conclusions, as the CDs routinely get “put back” in entirely the wrong places. One of the Raffi CDs was in with the movie soundtracks, for example, and half the Trout Fishing in America CDs were with the games. Though maybe someone ignored the label saying “children’s artists” and just assumed it was some kind of simulation game. I could see that.)

Anyway: Trout Fishing in America. Maybe I’m biased because we always sang Raffi songs at my elementary school, but doesn’t that seem…odd?

But then again, this is the library that has two seperate graphic novel sections, one sorted alphabetically and the other via Dewey decimal, despite the fact that there is no difference between the collections. In fact, most books appear in both sections. I’ll forgive them the separate adult and YA comics sections, even if they also have a lot of crossover– but why the further separation within each section?



8 Responses to What do our libraries say about us?

  1. dollyann says:

    Lol, I wanted to come up with a reason to do a poll when I saw the new feature, but I think this is way better than anything I would have come up with.

    Anyways, my dad trout fishes, so he’d probably love your kids’ section. Maybe it’s a “boys and their toys” statement. You could do a gender analysis on it! 😀 In all seriousness though maybe your library’s just unorganized? Maybe?

  2. eloriane says:

    I think they might be local, or something. I checked their website to try to find out, but no luck…though they compared themselves to Ani Difranco, which frankly shocked me, until I realized that they just meant they’d gotten the same award for the top 100 most influential independent artists.

    Their music doesn’t appear to actually be about trout fishing, but if I ever feel the need to check out what Kids These Days are listening to, I’ll be sure to post extensive reviews here for you guys. 🙂

    Also, I’m not really pleased with the appearance of the poll. Time to fiddle, I guess.

  3. jmtorres says:

    Trout Fishing in America is awesome. Clearly someone at your library is a fan. They’ve written a lot of songs, both reflective and hilarious, that show their real experiences as parents. “Mine!” lands on the hilarious end–in a way that I hope is obvious; “11 Easy Steps” is one of my favorite on the reflective end. The title comes from a kid’s backyard playset advertised as being able to be built in 11 easy steps; step one was relandscape your backyard. *G* It’s a really beautiful song about watching their kids play.

  4. jmtorres says:

    P.S. re their locality, they’re originally from Houston but live in Arkansas now.

  5. eloriane says:

    Hey, thanks for enlightening me!

    I live in Arkansas now, so it makes sense that they’re particularly popular at my library if they live nearby.

    And I hope I didn’t come across as dissing them– as a childfree college student, “children’s artists” (as the library labels them) don’t have a lot of appeal for me, but it matters a lot more how they succeed in their actual target audience. I just thought their name was a bit funny, and ten is a stunningly large number compared to our collection (I can carry our entire lullabies selection in one hand). I’m glad they’re a hit with parents and kids. 🙂

  6. eloriane says:

    Actually, I think we only have 25 CDs in our holiday music section, total. 10 really is staggeringly large for one artist.

    (But we have a great selection of audio books!)

  7. Crowfoot says:

    the CDs routinely get “put back” in entirely the wrong places

    This makes my Inner Librarian twitch! And grind her teeth. Then spend 20 minutes putting them in their proper places. I do that in the video store too. I might, just might, have a touch of the OCD.

  8. eloriane says:

    Haha! I mostly just sputter with rage, unable to comprehend how it happens. It’s not like it’s a large library. All our VHS kids movies fit on one shelf! How can it possibly take so long to walk from the S to the J that you save time by leaving a J movies surrounded by S movies? WHY DO YOU DO THIS?!

    It’s particularly annoying because it means that every time I show up to do two hours of shelving, I first have to completely re-organize the entire X section (with X being whatever I’m shelving that day) which tends to use up most of my shelving time. I’ve learned to sort of do both at once, just so I can finish one “group” (like non-fiction kids’ VHS) within the two hours, but if people didn’t totally destroy the shelves while I’m gone, I could probably do all of it in the two hours.

    I’ve been using the kid’s section for my examples, but it’s not because kids make messes– the “regular” CDs and the YA books (which I shelve on other days) have the exact same problems. I just happened to be shelving children’s today.

    Man. I’d probably be a decent librarian, but I don’t think I could handle the stress.

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