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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

One more river to cross* : Slugging it out till 10/17

It's going to be a little dull around here for a few weeks. I'm about half-way through a new order for DVDs, and as usual for non-awards season, I have to dig hard to fill that $8200 order every other month.

I did have an interesting end to last Wednesday. Three reference questions in rapid succession.
(phone) What was the first circus to play the Philadelphia Spectrum in 1967?
(desk) Where do I get a referral for "Eyes for the Needy"?
(desk, ninety seconds to close) Can I get a copy of the life and casualty insurance exam textbook right now?

Never a dull moment.


*Daniel Moore, One More River to Cross, Canned Heat, 1973.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Hurray for Hollywood*: Weeding in the Secret Garden, part xi

So I'm working on weeding the DVD collection, and I must say, it's a well-circulated, well-used collection. Very few items have a last circulation longer than three months, and most, especially in the feature film category, circulate at least monthly. One of the least popular is Lolita. I guess modern sensibilities look askance at stories like that. Do I discard? I did discard it.

I'm also making sure that each item is in its proper area. Again, thanks to our Library Assistants, most everything is, so I'm glad to move whatever isn't in the right place.  Tedious, repetitive work, but necessary to keep patrons happy.

Finally, I'd like to welcome readers from Cambodia (country #66 heard from), or should I say,


Wednesday, July 26, 2017

End Of The Line*: Weeding in the Secret Garden, part x

Just finished the Chinese collection.  More of the usual titles--50 Shades, Harry Potter, Grisham, Danielle Steele, and a lot of non-descript books with what seems to be the same pretty, young woman on the cover. Always straight, jet-black hair, high cheekbones, a positive, smiling face.

Final total 217 out, 552 in, 8 dropped out of system and need to be put back in. About a 39% rate for discard--not as bad as Italian, but not as good as Russian.

Two more cases of Vietnamese lit and I am DONE with weeding the World Language collection. I have a feeling that that last group is going to shrink, rapidly. Stay tuned.

Not to say that the collection doesn't need maintenance--a lot of the Chinese titles were classified as hardback when they were clearly trade paperback.  It would have bogged me down to have to change all those while weeding.

After I finish weeding I can check and discharge our new Arabic titles and make room for new Chinese titles coming our way.


*--The Traveling Wilburys, 1987.

UPDATE: Finished the last Vietnamese item at about 2:30.  Made the suggestion to my supervisor that we should find a new home for the roughly 300 V-language items, 78% of which hadn't circulated in over five years.  She concurred and is looking for a new home for them.

Ditto for the Chinese items we weeded.  The Chinese titles circulate far better than Vietnamese, but there's so many of them, including some listed in SIRSI (Integrated Library System) as "Chinese book". SMH.

Final totals for weeding World Language:
French 348 314 47.4
German 188 125 39.9
Italian 109 146 57.2
Spanish 636 412 39.3
Russian  512 87 14.5
Chinese 552 217 28.2
Japanese 1 0 n/a*
Vietnamese 64 223 77.7
Grand totals 2410 1524 38.7
*stray Japanese title, had fallen out of system.

EPILOGUE: There's still some maintenance to do in this area. Way too many of the titles (especially Chinese) used the default AHARDBACK (adult hardback) classification when they're clearly Trade Paperbacks.  Estimate that there are hundreds of titles like this. 

Onward again...till next time.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Na Gorushke, Na Gore*: Weeding in the Secret Garden, pt. ix

So I started weeding the Russian collection this week.

(Oh, the horror!)

I tapped a few colleagues for help and acquired a nice list of Cyrillic to English alphabets, as well as common library terms. Also found several links to the LOC website.
Plodding forward.

UPDATE: I guess popular literature can be found in any language. In addition to the Dostoyevsky and Solzhenitzyn, I'm finding Russian-language copies of titles by John Grisham and James Patterson, as well as Forrest Gump, and--wait for it--Fifty Shades of Grey!

Also doing some re-organizing.  People see 891.7 and think it can go right next to 891.73 just because the author is the same. NOT. The nice thing is that some of our multi-volume collections are looking a bit more whole again. Doing my bit for the FLP.


*--Traditional Russian folk song

UPDATE: Just weeded the Russian translation of The Lord of the Rings trilogy.  That will be sacrilege to some, but it was in poor condition, and had only circulated seven times in 21 years (and not since 2005)
UPDATE II: Just finished the Russian collection. 14.6% weeded out (82 out of 590 titles), mostly condition issues. Asian next, then adding the new Arabic titles.


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Ahab the Arab*: Weeding in the world-language collection, part viii

First and foremost, welcome to our readers from the United Arab Emirates! Feel free to argue, bloviate, spout off, or otherwise engage me and my readers in spirited conversation.

Finished the Spanish collection yesterday, will begin to take on the Russian collection later this week. I've been falling behind on DVD weeding and ordering and have deadlines to keep, so the things that have the most urgency will come first--namely DVD ordering from Midwest Tape, then the Bibz list, then DVD and Russian weeding. The fun never ends...

*-Ray Stevens, 1,837 Seconds of Humor, 1962.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Concert for Bangladesh*: weeding in el Jardin secreto, part vii

Welcome to Bangladeshi readers! Country #64 heard from!

Feel free to argue with me, agree with me, state something new and outrageous.

Continuing with weeding the Spanish language collection.

Conclusion 1: Stephen King is not popular among our Spanish-language patrons.  Someone ordered the complete translated set three years ago and all but four or five titles have not moved.  "Carrie" is the leader, but only 4 borrows in three years--hardly a ringing endorsement.

June 19, 2017:

Finished the Spanish language collection this morning with a flurry of items that dropped out of the system.  Among the interesting titles in Spanish translation:

The Color Purple
Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters
Android Karenina (no, really)
The Portrait of Dorian Gray

and a fairly recent Nobel prize winner whose name escapes me right now.

Mopping up the paperwork for the systemless books, then on to Russian tomorrow.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Japanese Dances*: Weeding in the Secret Garden, part vi

Slogging through Spanish-title weeding.

Interesting finds:

Old Man and the Sea and For Whom the Bell Tolls
Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
50 Shades of Grey

That's it for today--just three shelves :-). Discard rate for Spanish language titles running about 40% at this point (thru H's). I think the lower rate as opposed to Italian is reflected in the increase in Spanish speaking population here in the city.

Amusing note: The door to the breakroom from where I'm working is at the end of a short corridor, next to the Asian language collection. I opened the door from the breakroom to find a young, pretty, Asian girl sitting on the floor reading one of our books. She was a little embarrassed but I assured her it was okay. Besides, the stack of books she was checking out meant my job might be a little easier when I get to the Asian collection.  But--I have to finish Spanish and Russian first.


*Composition for orchestra by Bernard Rogers, 1933.