Obiter Dictum

Woman's virtue is man's greatest invention --- Cornelia Otis Skinner

Saturday, October 6

Tooting someone else's horn

So, I'm driving in to work this morning and listening to NPR. A tough enough call because the below mentioned CD is still in my player and I was so tempted......but, you know, it never hurts to learn something sometimes....

anyway, so I'm driving in and they're doing a story on Billy McCune. Who? Funny, that's what I said too. He is the subject of the book called Conversations with the Dead: Photos of prison life, with the letters and drawings of Billy McCune #122054 by Danny Lyon. McCune recently died, apparently, so NPR did a story on his only claim to fame: being in this book and having his sentence commuted from death to life in prison.

When I get to work, I look up the book and, of course, we have it. Published in 1971 and we still have it. It hasn't gone out in two years, and we still have it. Do we have every book published in 1971? Of course not. Do we keep books that don't go out for two years? Hell no. But we have this one. Why? Because someone who works here is pretty damn smart, that's why. They know their stuff. They know what to keep. They know what not to keep. And they do it so professionally that you don't even know they're doing it. You just know, when you want something, it is right there.

I don't think people who aren't readers (or watchers or listeners....) appreciate that. There is something incredibly comforting in knowing that whatever book (or dvd, or cd) I want is, most likely, available right here in this public library system. People in Carmel, Brownsburg, Zionsville, Franklin, etc. know this. That is why, even though they all have beautiful libraries, they still pay to have access to the Indy library. It is a matter of resources, sure, but it is also a matter of people at Central library knowing their subjects specialties. Or, they used to, anyway. Subject specialists have been discontinued at Central, at least officially. The people still work there, though, and they still have the same expertise they used to have. Someone from the old Social Sciences division probably saved this book. This may change as we get rid of more and more professional librarians, so take advantage of it while you can. It never once occurred to me that we wouldn't have this book. Not once.

Of course, I can't get it until Central opens again.......


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home