Letters //

The falcon cannot hear the falconer

A letter from Lucy Watson.

Image via Kolinio Niumataiwalu, Flickr.

Dearest Honi,

I write to you today with the gravest concerns about the state of humanity. It was nothing short of abject horror today when I made this discovery. For years now, I have suspected something to be amiss, but today I stumbled on the confirmation of my suspicion as I roamed the (now rather roomy) aisles of Fisher.

University students do not understand basic concepts of decimals, which has thrown the entire Dewey decimal system in Fisher library into COMPLETE DISARRAY.

When looking for books today, I discovered the 363.32 36 I was after crudely shoved between 363.32035 and 363.32037, thus placing it in an entirely different topic category. Then, after traipsing all the way to level eight via the stairs (the elevators in Fisher shall be the topic of another strongly worded letter, I’m sure) to find 956.70442 25, imagine my horror when I found not only it, but also 956.70442 24, 956.70442 26, 956.70442 27, and 956.70442 44 shoved four shelves away from the rest of their 956.70442 ?? counterparts, in a random location that cannot even be a simple misgiving (as in my previous example)! This act was pure mischievousness, that fact is undeniable. Then, when I descended the stairs back to level 4, imagine my disappointment when 300.1 201 just simply wasn’t there, despite two copies being allegedly available.

Why do students seek to undermine the Dewey decimal system? I think it must be an innocent lack of understanding, for surely University students must understand that the Dewey decimal system is the glue that holds the library together, that any erroneous book will cause pain and torture to any future student who seeks to find it, and may take weeks, months, even years to locate on the expansive shelves of Fisher?

I’m not sure how we can fix this, Honi. More conveniently placed reshelving trolleys might encourage students to leave the returning of the book to the shelving experts, however I am pessimistic about this option, given it would require more staff and as I learned from Honi last month, our libraries are sadly headed in the opposite direction.

With the current library climate, I see no possibility of change. I guess I should just knuckle down and wait for the apocalypse, for surely it will come sooner than 300.1 201 will return to its rightful place, between 300.1 200 and 300.1 202.

Yours in despair,

Lucy Watson

Media and Communications VI