Friday, November 14, 2008

A page in history

I started my full time working life in a library. I went from a casual checkout chick to a library officer in a public library. It never ceases to amaze me just how good this beginning was.

If you want to do the same thing today, it would not be so easy. Basically there are 3 levels of staff in libraries: librarians, library technicians and library officers. Librarians study at Uni for 3-4 years, library techs study at TAFE for a few years and library officers can walk in off the street. Well, used to be able to. Now you need a library tech qualification to do a library officer position! And for the same sh!tkicker money I was earning. Ridiculous.

Anyway, point of the tale is how this basis in the library system has stayed with me. All those years of shelving.... I can generally still walk to the correct place in the non-fiction section for what I'm looking for.

Eldest had a Ned Kelly assignment and came home with a big fat adult non fiction generic Australian History title. She was sitting there whinging (her normal behaviour, but I digress) about how there was nothing about good ole Ned in the tome. I had a quick flick through and agreed there was very little in there and asked why she took this book and not one of the numerous I knew would have been on the shelf that were more aimed at her reading level. There wasn't anything else there, she wailed back.

Took her back to the library and straight to the right place on the shelf and quickly located 2 books that were easier to read (classed as junior non-fiction) and just on Ned, rather than the generic Aussie history type.

It wasn't until the other day that I remembered this situation and actually got a little surprised at how many Deweys I remember. Not perfectly down to the last point, but close enough for me to be able to find what I need. Here's a few that I could come up with:
  • Dictionaries 423
  • Travel 913-919 (Australian stuff is 919)
  • Atlas 912
  • Sport 796
  • Computing 004
  • Australian history 994
  • Cookery ... ooh I've lost this one for the minute....5something...
  • Novels, literature 880
  • Gardening 635
  • oh - cookery is 641, not 500 and something
  • Crafts 745....
Not this list is not that extensive, but cutting to a situation where I need to find something for a kid in project mode, I think I'd be a pretty good person to help them out if there wasn't a catalogue available.

With an online catalogue available, I'm even better!

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