I Love Libraries

Some weeks ago I went to Brunswick Library looking for Spike Milligan’s Adolf Hitler: My Part in His Downfall (it was recommended to me by some members of my non-fiction writers’ group in Edinburgh). The book should have been in the stacks but when a librarian went down to check, he couldn’t find it.

“It’s really unusual for a book to go missing from the stacks,” he said. “There’s not much I can do except reserve it for you and keep an eye out for it.”

Fair enough, I thought, because I don’t have unreasonable expectations about what can and can’t be retrieved from library stacks.

I pretty much thought the book was a lost cause so imagine my surprise when I popped into the library today and the librarian said, “There’s a message here for you: since we couldn’t find the book you were looking for we’ve ordered a new copy.” Then she apologised because that would mean a bit of a delay in me getting it!

I told her not to worry; I thought it was amazing that they were ordering a book for me, just because I requested it. What wonderful customer service!

4 thoughts on “I Love Libraries

  1. Yay for libraries! I just got a copy of Romesh Guneskera’s Reef through my library because it is too expensive for me to buy. I wasn’t able to make the best use of the library as a child, though I was jolly poor, because of index cards and all those numbers. But with online searches now, I am even more appreciative of libraries than ever!

    • Did they buy it for you or was it already in their collection? Either way, what a great service. Oh yes, I remember index cards, and getting into trouble for lifting some out of the drawer to shuffle through them. Imagine if I’d dropped them on the floor how much work it would be to get them back into order! Yay for computers too!

  2. Well you’ve always known libraries are wonderful!
    I ordered a book on Jacobean embroidery last week from reserve stock and they got it the next day. It had that old green-flecked library binding that you don’t see any more, and I must quote you this: “To deem, as do some writers, the bold, rather ponderous crewel work of the 17th century, sole outcome of the importation of the Palampores of Musulipatan, is to ignore all the tendencies manifested in the embroideries of the previous centuries; in the same way, to repudiate the emblematical significance of special features markedly introduced into old designs, is to betray a complete lack of knowledge of the mind and manners of the people of superstitious days.’
    Now I know better, I’ll stop deeming so much to the Palampores of Musulipatan. x

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