Friday 9 August 2019

Library [at your] service.

I signed off from my ramble about Adam Thorpe's rambling On Silbury Hill when I was passing the night in Tramore last week:
I look forward to getting his latest book Notes from the Cévennes: half a lifetime in provincial France out of the library. Even though it was published last May, I don't think there will be a long line of people wanting to do the same thing.

The thought being the deed, when I woke up the following morning, I was hopping from one foot to the other waiting for the Tramore branch library to open at 10am.  As I usually spring out of bed about 0600hrs, that was a lot of hopping.

Then >!duh!<, I remembered that Dau.I the Librarian had forged my sig on an application for a Library Card, so I could do the ordering on-line and transfer the foot-hopping to waiting for the arrival call. One of the great advances towards a civilised society in recent years has been to create a National Library Service in Ireland even if each branch is supported by the local county council. In the old days, you could get a book, any book, even if it wasn't on the shelf in your library branch, even if it wasn't in stock with your local authority. But it was a Big Thing: the librarian would have to fill out an Inter Library Loan ILL form, in triplicate. One copy for the county accountants, one to be sent to a distant library, one copy for filing in perpetuity in a vault inside the armageddon bunker.

In the last year or so, librarians across the country have parked their turf-wars and internecine squabbles to join forces against the barbarians at the gates of literacy. Dau.I reports that fines for late return have been abolished; and for children's books even replacement costs are being absorbed by the service. They would rather have kids read books to destruction than not read at all. Dau.I, being who she is, has all kinds of plans for including the dispossessed - immigrants, the deaf, teenagers - in the warm embrace of The Stacks.

Mais revenone nous a nos memoires I went on-line and found two separate entries for the book I wanted:
Notes from the Cévennes : half a lifetime in provincial France / Adam Thorpe
Thorpe, Adam, 1956- author.
Book | 2019
On shelf at Carlow Branch Non Fiction (828.9203)
Notes from the Cévennes : half a lifetime in provincial France / Adam Thorpe
Thorpe, Adam, 1956- author.
Book | 2018
Available at Cork City Blackpool Non Fiction (828.9203 THO) plus 5+ more
rather endearingly, the catalogue clerk in Carlow looked at the book, with bleary eyes, in early 2019 and assumed it was published this year rather than May 2018 as it says inside the book. Because of this slight difference, there are two entries for the same book in the National Catalogue.

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