Babylon 5 people, two stories you should read: [ profile] crackjackal's 'Answer With Fever' (part 1 and part 2), Lyta/Sheridan, NC-17, and [ profile] rivendellrose's The Things You Know, Sheridan, Delenn and Lennier. Both beautifully written, and both wonderful at dealing with the fine balance of canon relationships, of whatever variety. Go! Read!
It was my last shift at the library until January today. The place is dead; I spoke to four patrons the whole day. My last patron of 2006, though, was a man who wanted to order a thesis up from store but couldn't remember its title - or its author - or its year of publication - or whether it was a Masters or a PhD - or which department it fell under - or any of the words in its title - or anything specific enough to be useful about its subject - so, well, that took a while. Patrons of the world, write stuff down.
Dear Father Christmas: I have been good this year. Please bring me:
- This outfit )
- Shoes to go with the outfit
- Legs to go with the shoes
7,571 words of a 10k chapter. Bah.

Reference only

Tuesday, 24 January 2006 19:28
The scene: Lending desk, smallish academic library. Saturday afternoon.

Things are reasonably quiet and peaceful as MAN IN A HURRY enters, stage left. He's got an sad-looking empty bag slung over one shoulder and a worried expression on his face. His words come out rather fast. "I need the Oxford English Dictionary and it's not on the shelf!"

Hm. Weird. Especially when it turns out that yes, he is indeed looking for the 20-volume second edition of the OED, which takes up quite a bit of room. "Was there a big space on the shelf where it should have been?"

"No," he says, increasingly hurried. "Why don't you have it? You're a university!"

I smile sweetly and look up the correct shelfmark for him, which solves the Amazing Missing Dictionary issue ("that's on the top floor? Ohhh..."). It's reference only and can't be taken out of the library, I tell him, but (very quickly, while his face changes from 'optimistic' to 'totally devastated') we also have the complete OED on CD-ROM, which he can check out, and access to the online version via his student account.

"But!" he says, and then thinks about it, and then looks hopeful. "Can I still use the CD one or the online one from abroad, if I can't have the book one? I'm going to Germany tomorrow, and I really need to have access to it."

They'll both work fine from Germany, so problem solved. He disappears, still in a hurry, and it's only when he's been gone for half an hour that I realise he was planning to take a 20-volume dictionary on holiday with him.

Iraqi poetry

Sunday, 23 October 2005 18:26
Where's the joy in sorting through a whole run of Modern Poetry in Translation unless you're going to read a couple of the poems?

Bulland al-Haydari, 'So That We Do Not Forget' )

Fadhil al-Azzawi, from 'Every Morning The War Gets Up From Sleep' )

Letter home

Monday, 17 October 2005 21:11
Found in an Introduction to Philosophy book. It's a long letter, so both the scans and the transcript are behind cuts.

The wind is blowing like a dozen demons outside my door... )

Transcript )
Someone left a heap of rocks on a desk in the university library. Not boulders, but not the size you could carry in unintentionally - they're about the size of my hand, with a few pebbles arranged artfully on top.

Clearly, the Blair Witch now lives in our Politics section.

Two sad letters

Thursday, 6 October 2005 23:19
Found inside a book on American poetry, along with two envelopes. The first was addressed to Michael, c/o what's obviously his place of work; the second, inside it, just says 'Jason'.

She is always asking me have I found her Daddy )

And a couple of less sad things from other books:

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'Titus 3:15, Grace be with you all.' Inside a book of Tertullian's writings.

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Marking a page in Ossian's poetry.


Saturday, 1 October 2005 20:58
One of the most interesting things about working in a library is the bookmarks. People leave all sorts of things in books. Half the time it's bits of blank paper, which eventually find their way spiralling to the carpet beneath to make the books look as if they're moulting; the other half it's something more unusual. This one was in Deborah Baker's In Extremis: The Life of Laura Riding:

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"The end
beside deconstruction
[e]nds up v. well."

And this one was lying in dust at the back of a New Testament theology shelf:

Get Well )



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