Tuesday, July 13, 2010

My library is bigger than yours

Nobody is going to confuse the main branch of the New Orleans Public Library with the main branch of the Boston Public Library in Copley Square.
The New Orleans Library looks to have been built in the 1960s, an International Style block of cement indistinguishable as a temple of knowledge except that it has a sign out front.

The librarians are very helpful and good thing too.  The nonfiction books stop at 299 in the Dewey Decimal system where they are followed by 700.  To find 300-699, you have to go to the other side of the first floor behind the fiction racks.  I don't know why and when I asked I got a shrug and a smile in return: "That's how we've set it up."  Okay.

Even if the building isn't particularly inspiring, the collection is extensive and I found everything I was looking for and then some.  I took my first trip to the second floor today, where the magazines and videos are kept.  Guess what jumped off the shelf into my helmet which I was using as a shopping basket:  American Splendor.  I picked it up to watch.   Harvey Pekar died yesterday and it's a good movie so I thought it's worth watching again.

George Steinbrenner died today.  His career is getting a lot more coverage on bar televisions than Harvey Pekar's will.  Too bad.  I prefer Harvey.

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