austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

In the morning we arise and start the day the same old way

You know, as long as I haven't lost them just yet, I may as well list the pamphlets the library gave me. They come in several sizes. The first and outermost is a little tree-folded pamphlet welcoming me to the country library, offering twenty locations to serve you (one at a time, I suppose), and promising that they have programs, loan periods, overdue fines, and fancy tricks like interlibrary loans. The next pamphlet, about a third as tall, lists the hours and addresses of all the branches, although the addresses aren't that useful due to the weird topology of the county. No two roads meet at right angles, and roads that seem like they might be nearly parallel always diverge, whichever way you take them.

Next is a trio of bookmark-style cards on slightly stiff paper. First is a yellow-green one announcing the branch I got them from, its address, and its hours and branch manager. Next is a white card listing the ways to renew a book (telephone automated system; online system; through any actual physical branch; or by calling a person at any given branch). The next card offers e-mail notification of your holds, runs, and errors.

The next couple pages are all paper, and much taller, about what you get from an ordinary eight-and-a-half-by-eleven sheet if you divide it into quarters. The first purple one announces that one can renew books by using the telephone automated system, just like the white bookmark did, except that this doesn't mention the other ways to renew books. Through that phone system, though, you can also get titles listed for pickup, check fines, and ``record your name for optimum pronunciation''. The cyan one lists rules of conduct for the library system -- there's no fighting, skateboarding, intoxication, stealing library materials, or shoving, so you'll have to go somewhere else for your kicks, which are also prohibited. The first yellow sheet lists the American Library Association's Rules for Safety on the Information Superhighway, and it recommends asking my parents for everything I might do online. That's probably good policy, but I'd end up either boring or confusing them. There's a second yellow sheet listing Dewey decimal numbers for select subjects; and finally a traffic cone orange sheet warning that they do charge fines.

The list of subjects on the Dewey decimal cheat sheet fascinates me for their selection. Here's the list, generally omitting numbers for clarity: Internet (384.3), Internet Basics (004.6) (huh), Jobs/careers, Jokes, Knitting, Math, Music, Mythology, Painting, Pets, Philosophy, Photography, Plays, Plumbing, Poetry, Psychology, Real Estate, Religion, Resumes, Retirement, Revolutionary War, Science, Science Fair Project Guides, Self-Help, Shakespeare, Space, Sports, Stocks, Suicide, Travel Guide Books (Asia, Europe, Hawaii, US), US History, Vietnam War, Weddings, World War I, World War II. That array feels like either the least successful $25,000 Pyramid Winner's Circle round ever or a free-association exam.

Trivia: On the first space shuttle flight Columbia's Orbital Maneuvering System used a total of 4,983 pounds of fuel (monomethyl hydrazine) and 8,017 pounds of oxidizer (nitrogen tetroxide). Source: Space Shuttle: The History of the National Space Transportation System: The First 100 Missions, Dennis R Jenkins.

Currently Reading: The 13th Element: The Sordid Tale of Murder, Fire, and Phosphorus, John Emsley.

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