Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Other peoples' pictures


In a back area of our library workroom, books weeded from our collection are lined up on one to three carts against a wall, waiting for de-librarification, a process involving a status change in the computer, label stripping, and blacking out with markers elements that make books look like they're live in the system. I don't have much to do with these books other than to look at them and get sad that we are weeding them.

In case you don't know, most library systems, especially larger ones, work less on a personally curated collection model, and more on an "automatically" curated collection model. There are exceptions to this, but these weeded books are a perfect example of the "automatically" curated. These books have been pulled from the collection based on auto-generated lists of items that haven't circulated for, usually, a year or more.

I'm more of a personally curated sort of person. Just look at clerkmanifesto! Instead of being designed for what people would ideally like to read, and having millions of readers and making me rich and heralded across the land, it is designed to contain exactly the content that I think everyone needs to read, and thus has, let's see, a couple readers. Well, actually just the one right now.

Hi. It's so nice to see you!

Sometimes on these carts of to-be-weeded books there are books I am only too happy to see go. Sometimes there are interesting books, but I understand that we have sadly limited shelving space. And sometimes there are fantastic books and I get mad at our library, at the often indulgent and flawed profession of "Librarian", and at the cruelty of an uncaring humankind. Then I wander around the library for awhile giving speeches about all of this that my co-workers only tolerate because I also have many good points.

But sometimes I find a book to be weeded that is so gorgeous and amazing that I have to pull it off the cart, take 85 pictures of it, and then hoard it in some random pile of my own in some corner of the work area of the library.

I still give a string of vehement speeches when I find a book like this, perhaps even more so, maybe even like the one you are reading now.

I found this last kind of book, an incredible animal photography book, yesterday. Accordingly I took pictures of it. Here is my first set of pretty much altered, er, tribute pictures of the pictures in the book I admired so much. The original pictures in the book are of course much better, and range widely across the animal kingdom. They tend towards extreme clarity and intensely detailed close-ups. I have only increased the close-up nature of these pictures, and not being equipped to add to or reproduce the beautiful clarity of them, I have instead experimented with their textures, colors, and patterns.

This will be the first of probably two sets of these pictures of a $65 book in excellent condition that we madly weeded at my library. Tomorrow I will provide the name and author of the book which I only withhold now because I don't know what it is and I am not at work, which is where the book is.

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