The Pleasures of Ordering

One of my newer duties at the library is maintaining our folk and fairytale collection.  My first big job was to weed the section – it hadn’t been taken care of in a while, so I had a lot of work to do just clearing out the broken down and old books.  Now that I’m mostly done, I get to start on the next phase, which is making me feel a bit like a kid at Christmas – ordering new materials.

The 398’s were TREMENDOUSLY out of date.  We had maybe 8 different versions of Aesop’s Fables, but only one, lone (ugly) version of the Arabian Nights.  Twelve Mother Gooses and one Robin Hood.  Our multicultural folk tale selection was abysmal, and most of the section was a wall of old, beige, boring color.  Nothing eye catching or interesting, lots of super dated (and kind of creepy) illustrations.

But now I’m submersed in book catalogs, and the choices are endless, and beautiful, and I’m glad that my supervisor has final approval on my choices because otherwise I would be ordering ALL THE THINGS.

Being involved with making actual purchases is probably the part of my job that makes me feel the most connected to my library – decisions I’m making now will affect the materials patrons see, use and have access to for (hopefully!) long after I’m gone. That’s a powerful feeling.

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