I could easily have continued to show you his picture and provide his local context (he had a lot to do with founding the city of St. Anthony, near the Library, which was later annexed into Minneapolis), but I think you get my point. And besides all that easy stuff that was mere keystrokes away on the internet, this branch has, as I mentioned, a small room devoted to local history, which, unless it is so pathetic that it should be converted to a Video Gaming room, will undoubtedly have some of the best and most useful materials on Pierre Bottineau anywhere, internet included!
40 out of 100
Librarian two: The Collection Question
Do they have a copy of The Blue Sword? The Librarian said first "By Robin Mckinley?" By Robin Mckinley indeed. Well done! This pleased me much! Unfortunately they had only two copies in the system, both out. She did offer to request it for me. I didn't get any commiseration or alternate choices, just, to explain the touch of mildness in my positive score below.
90 out of 100 for the Librarian
50 out of 100 for the collection
(something like 41 branches and 2 circulating copies of this total, both out?)
Librarian three: The Free Form Question
What is her favorite book? She would have to pick Tolkien's Trilogy, which was chosen without dissembling, just straight up, something I appreciated, and it was a choice I liked too. Once again, to explain the limits of my fully positive score, her enthusiasm drew a line, and she did not feverishly say, when I spoke of my affection for Lord of the Rings, something like "Oh, but have you read the great Blue Sword? It is nearly as good in it's own way! Oh, but right, we only have two copies because our teen collection buyer is demented." which is the kind of color commentary I would have needed to score a 100 on this one.
90 out of 100
Dave, a St. Paul resident, asked if he could get a card. Asked if he wanted to Check Out today he said he'd like to, but he didn't need to (by the way, kudos to Dave, that was such a good answer! Enough to invite the clerk to screw up, but not unfair). They said it would be a lot easier if he went to St. Paul directly and left it at that. As your library savant I can tell you that, a. this would be a lot easier for the clerk, not really for Dave, who would have probably hardly suffered, and, b., this answer is only acceptable to "No, I'm leaving. I don't want to get anything now." In all other cases the clerk's response was awful.
50 out of 100
Random Personal Search for Item
I looked for a copy of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson. Like Dave's bait question above, this is just the sort of thing libraries screw up on, unsanctioned foundational classics that people are always reading. And they sadly failed the bait of my search. Certainly not checked in at Pierre Bottineau in any form. They had, actually, interestingly, a few audio books of it in the system, a reference copy, a few unavailable ebooks, the movie, and a paltry 2 physical copies, both requested because, well, of course they are.
60 out of 100
Pierre Bottineau is a beautiful library in an unusual part of town. It's design is interesting and harmonious and the space is mainly used well and consciously. The collection seems adequate if uninspired. The staff seems to be, casually speaking, under no great pressure, and has sadly responded with sleepiness rather than inspiration. The delightful facility does much to save it from a far more middling score, but the failure of its great promise also tempers that score strongly.
80 out of 100