Cites & Bytes @ Bailey

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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The Continuing Adventures of Research Grrl: Where is Waldo???

In trying to find a book in good old Bailey Library, you have probably discovered several things. The first thing I noticed was that Toto and I were not in Kansas anymore.

The Dewey Decimal system is not how our library is organized!

I felt as though my senior year English teacher had somehow failed to prepare me for life with the way that she had gushed about good old Dewey but never mentioned this thing called the Library of Congress system. I wanted to stop right there and turn around so I could drive to my hometown and tell my former school's administrators that my high school education had failed me (especially the public school excuse for sex education, but let's not even get me started on that, I mean if Wikipedia starts a debate I have no idea what spouting my views about abstinence focused curricula would do).

When I asked one of the librarians about the Library of Congress system, they were eager to explain how it works. Pretty much, look something up in the online catalog and then find it on the shelf. A book's call numbers can be thought of like an address and you probably should save yourself some time and have a tablet handy to jot down the call numbers of possible sources. (I know that your Jedi mind powers are strong, young one, but you won't look nearly as silly trying to find something from memory.)

The beauty of this system is that generally, once you find one source that will be usable, others should be in fairly close proximity.

Here are some tricks and tips before you set off on your quest, young Padawan.
*Call numbers starting witb the letters A through PQ are on the second floor.
*Call numbers starting with the letters PR through Z are found on the third floor.
* The third floor is home to the ghost and the folio section. I recommend spending a rainy afternoon lounging about with some of the oversized art books housed in the folio section. It's cheesy, but I think it's a good way to add some sunshine to your day.
*Be prepared to get lost in the library. Eventually, you will find your way out and I'm sure you'll find something cool in the mean time.
*The library is a surprisingly good place to meet people... But that's a story for another day.

May the force be with you.

Keep reading the Continuing Adventures of ResearchGrrl!

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Blogger Melba Tomeo said...

Do tell, ResearchGrrl...did you meet someone in the HQ 801-801.83's? (That's Library of Congress speak for Man-woman relationships, love, and courtship.) Actually, I met my husband in the library at Slippery Rock 36 years ago, so I recommend browsing the stacks for potential mates also.

The reason our library uses the Library of Congress classification scheme is because of the size and specific nature of the collection. LC (as we like to call it) is better suited to large collections ... Dewey numbers for this collection would be very, very long, wrapping around the front of the book, spilling onto the next volume... you get the idea.

7:14 PM  

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