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This is nothing like paradise AT ALL
April 1, 2014 10:54 AM

I'm a researcher in a new country. I'm trying to get used to the weird classification scheme and I have some questions...

This place goes on forever and I am having a hard time finding people to ask questions. I see occasional people wandering around but they're not very helpful; I can't even tell if they work here. There are no signs and no finding aids. There are no computers (is this possible?) and not even a card catalog so I keep stumbling around trying to figure out if I'm in the right section or not. All the rooms are starting to look alike.

- The books have letters on the spine but its not LC or Bliss or Colon and it's sure as hell not Dewey. I was thinking UDC considering where I am but no love.
- I have a bit of a limp and everywhere are these spiral staircases. I am trying to find a ramp or an elevator and having no luck. The railings are low enough that I suspect this place isn't ADA compliant.
- It's clear that one of these closets in each room is a bathroom, but what in the hell is the other one for?
posted by imperfectlibrarian to Education around (9 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
You must search for the Index. One of the books must surely contain it! Do not cease in your searching!
posted by lovecrafty at 9:59 PM on March 31, 2014 [2 favorites]

There has to be some common pattern to the catalog, or to the text in the books themselves. Be sure you're paying attention not just to the alphabetic symbols, but to all the typographic symbols: the space, the period, the comma, yadda yadda. Look for patterns of repetition and repetition, in case there's any repetition. Also, see if anything repeats.
posted by Elsa at 11:06 PM on March 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

Look for a troll or talking tree.
posted by Riverine at 8:44 AM on April 1, 2014

Die Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) is the world I commonly used library classification system. Melvil Dewey dignity von founded in 1876 with ZieleĊ„, um, "I zu organize knowledge." This is currently von und public libraries small academic libraries ly Hansen Welt Method in die organization provides Bucher, Bucher Zoom topic in Sindh der roses couples use each other to die about. DDC Ueist each Buch A. Zahl, die in your subject. Items Come January main classes 10 100 1000 sections divide und eteh triciferan Zahl, died a few unlimited decimal places to expand Kahn work Product Details zu collect additional
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:45 AM on April 1, 2014 [7 favorites]

The good news is that there is a book in there with your question and the answer to all your questions. The not-so-good news is that there are many more books with your question and the wrong answers. The even worse news is that the chances are nil that you'll find any of the above books in your lifetime.
posted by vacapinta at 9:10 AM on April 1, 2014 [2 favorites]

The even better news is that you can write books matching the standards of the current library contents, but which describe how you'd like the library to be, and the library will eventually change to become what those books describe. If you're successful, books of this sort will just start appearing. For further inspiration, see if the stacks contain a rather famous book, Don Quixote, by Pierre Menard.
posted by LionIndex at 1:38 PM on April 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

Also, if you can find a guy named Funes around there, he should know where everything's at.
posted by LionIndex at 1:45 PM on April 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

There's also a spot under one of the staircases from which you can see pretty much the entire library, and pretty much everything else besides. I know a guy who knows a guy who can tell you where it is, but you may have to sit through a discussion of his really terrible poetry.
posted by kewb at 1:49 PM on April 1, 2014

F that. Start chucking the gibberish over the railing. Note: people may get mad.
posted by supercres at 3:55 PM on April 1, 2014

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