Wednesday, March 6, 2019
King of the library: The 11th decree
In my ten previous decrees, carefully doled out over the nearly six years of this blog so that librarians across the country could implement them thoroughly and effectively, I have not tended towards the common. My kingly decrees have been indulgent (a sushi bar), creative (theme rooms, the pirate library), and democratic (everybody shelves!). But for once I am keen on taking something common in libraries and bookstores across the country, and merely implementing it well.
In the bookstores it might be presented with a nice handwritten note under the "Employee Picks" stationary. Libraries seem to enjoy the phrase "Good books you might have missed". I prefer something a little stronger, like:
We'd stake our souls on these books, or
We adore these books, or
We'd gamble our careers on these books, or
The books we would die for.
My library has a good books you might have missed kiosk. But it is some weak sauce! Like so many collections in this post librarian era, no one is serious about it. It's a bunch of books pulled onto a cart by one person in a short amount of time.
I am not talking about this.
I'm talking about solemn oaths.
I'm talking about raise your right hand and repeat after me crap. And if you're willing to swear your life away before god or Jane Austen or something then we will go out and buy three copies of your book for this special collection. Then we will cut your finger, and you can put your bloody fingerprint on the title page of each copy. I'm sick of libraries that don't mean anything, that have no conviction. I don't need any book recommendations based on triangulation and anemic popularity. Don't we all want to read something great?
I want to read something great.
That's all I want to read. I endure the rest, badly.
And if a bloody fingerprint is too gross for the library patrons they can go stuff themselves on James Patterson.
But this collection was never for the likes of them anyway.
These books will be their own collection, additional to whatever there already is of them in the regular collection. There will be accouterments: A blurb written by the selector, a list of the selector's other choices, if there are any, that are also in the "books we would die for" collection, the goodreads star rating for said volume, a brief synopsis, trigger warnings, and a page for people to write their names if they feel the same way about said book. A notebook of all these books and their corresponding information will be kept for easy reference on location. And absolutely none of these books will be shelved in any kind of order.
Why?, you may ask, about the last one. Why out of order?
Because I am King!
And so it is decreed, this day, etc. etc.