Thursday, February 18, 2016

Random thoughts from a librarian

We are currently working on the last bookcase in Ram's office. I do have a few boxes of books (that don't fit on the bookcases) here at home that are not done. Other than that every book in our house and Ram's office at church will be cataloged when we finish this bookcase. We are over 7000 books, but we gave so many away that I don't think we will make it to 8000 when we complete this project.

Many of the books in Ram's church office came from both sides of the family. I was struck by both of my grandpas always wrote in their books-their name and when they received the book. Many of my dad's dad's books said Christmas with the year. Some of my mom's dad's were a gift from the church he was serving as pastor. Some of Ram's Great-Uncle's books were a gift from his wife. It's amazing to me that books with a date like 12-34 are still in great condition. I think of all the places those books have lived since then and it is even more amazing!

Ram wrote in the front of some of his books which Seminary class and the date. But neither Ram or I have written in the front of our books more than those that were his at the Seminary. I didn't even write my name in my books when I was in college. I did try to write in the front of books that the Lambs received from their godparents.

It is so interesting to me to know a little history behind the books that I inherited.  So often during this project I would ask Ram where he got a book and he would answer, "Probably at Goodwill in MN or at a library book sale, I really don't remember." It would be really interesting if we knew where our books came from. From this time forward, I am going to try to write a little information when I receive new books.  Also when I buy books with birthday money or something like that I want to record that too.

But I will continue to write in pencil just like I record the Dewey number in pencil. That is for both practical reasons and archival reasons. If I replace the book that I bought at the library book sale with a better copy, I want to be able to pass on the old copy without my name in it. I also think pencil in the book would be better than ink to last. If you gift my boys or me a book, you should write in the front of the book with pencil.

Once we finish this project, we will add to our catalog each time we receive a new book. This will mean a big project after we get home from a library book sale and after Ram's birthday and times like that. But it will be manageable to add to the list at that point.

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