Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Five Laws of Library Science

I obviously don't have the soul of a true blogger, because instead of sitting inside this afternoon posting about Raganathan's Five Laws of Library Science (as I promised I would in this weekend's Ad-Lib column), I was outside enjoying the beautiful weather. Ah, well.
So, as promised: The Five Laws of Library Science, according to S.R. Ranganathan (with my own little idle comments in italics)
1. Books are for use. As lovely as they all look lined up neatly on the shelf, librarians really do want people to pick them up and use them. When you see a book display at the library, please feel free to take the books. You're not disturbing the feng shui of our display.
2. Every person has his book. Or her book. Ranganathan published this in 1931 in India.
3. Every book has its reader. One person might consider a book offensive, or silly, or a waste of money and shelf space, but someone else will value the book as a source of information or entertainment. One person's meat is another one's poison.
4. Save the time of the reader. The library tries to be organized and easy to use, so that people can find what they want without getting frustrated. If you can't find something at the library, please ask us to help. That's what we're there for.
5. The library is a growing organism. We are continually adding new books, videos, CDs, magazines and audiobooks. We are continually looking at new advances in technology. We are continually trying to find ways to reach out to more people, and to make the library even better for everyone in Ketchikan. If you have an idea or a suggestion, please let us know. We really do want to hear what you think, and it is always helpful to look at things from a non-librarian perspective. Oh, and by the way, we are desperately in need of a building to house the expanding collection and technology. The last time the library was housed in a building that was built expressly for that purpose, Calvin Coolidge was president.

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