August 28, 2003

The Library--What a Place!

We made our first trip to the new Martin Luther King Jr. San Jose Public Library. Well, this was our second trip actually. The first trip was to attend the grand opening. Even though it opened a few days before that. They didn't check out books that first day, but Kevin was smart enough to get us library cards prior to the opening so we were all set to go today.

Gone are the days of the library card with your name on it. I remember my first library card, being a preschooler and getting my own card, scrawling my name on it in abyssmal letters. Now the cards are like the supermarket savings cards you get. Just a barcode. On the up side, they actually give you a mini version to hang on your keychain. This allows us to each share the same card. So when I don't return my books, all the blame goes to Kevin :).

Anyway, the 8 story library was still very cool. It even has a cafe'. I was surprised by their circulation system, however. For the fiction section, the books were arranged alphabetically by author without any code. But for nonfiction, they actually used the Dewey Decimal System. Okay, it's true, I haven't been to a public library since 1996, but I thought the Dewey system was obsolete, replaced by the Library of Congress system. And out of the 3 colleges I attended, I saw only Library of Congress books. I am intimately familiar with the LOC system due to my shelving jobs at Albion and SMSU. Since the SJ Public Library also contains the San Jose State academic library, I expected to find the LOC system here as well. Guess not.

Anyway, I checked out 5 books and shall be reviewing them here as I finish them. I realized today that I need to make a list of books I want to read as well as authors. I forgot all of the books that I wanted to read as soon as I got there. Obviously I was able to find a couple however :). I was bummed though because 2 books I wanted were already checked out. Off to read!

Update: Kevin informs me that I just didn't look hard enough. Apparently the SJSU books ARE classified using the LOC system. Guess those were on one of the 6 floors I didn't visit. Hunh.

Must be a pain in the butt to run a library with 3 different classification systems. Glad I don't shelve there!

Posted by Shelby at August 28, 2003 07:45 PM

Ahh... the good old day working for Danny in the library at Albion. I certainly don't miss shelf reading - do you Shelby?

Posted by: Mary at August 29, 2003 04:51 AM

Shelf reading was hell.

Posted by: Shelby at August 29, 2003 11:31 AM

I don't think I've ever seen a public library that used the LOC system, though it's the norm in colleges.

Posted by: Peggy at August 29, 2003 12:39 PM
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