A Thing of Beauty

I have "liked" a lot of libraries on Facebook.  I see photos of their programs, staff, and facilities.  Recently a library posted an "artistic" photo of their book shelves.  It was taken from one end of a long stack of books, from the bottom up, with sunlight illuminating the shelves.  But, all I could notice was the spine labels.  Because, you see...They weren't evenly placed.

Our two cataloging librarians work quietly behind the scenes processing thousands of titles in any given year.  In 2019, they prepared 6,315 items for our shelves.  They enter the catalog information into our database, which to the untrained eye, looks like absolute gibberish.  Then they meticulously cover, and label our materials.  There is always a Pendleton Community Public Library stamp on page 19.  And, the top of the spine label is always 2 ¼" from the bottom of the book.  

But, the aesthetic of consistent spine label placement fills me with glee whenever I admire our stacks.  I have told countless people that I would put our stacks up against any other library in the state.  Our circulation staff is always blocking, and reading our stacks.  You may not know exactly what that means.  But, it's library lingo for keeping things neat and in order.  

For "book people" the appearance of a shelf of books can be a thing of beauty.  And, here at the Pendleton Library we believe that, even if you don't read them, you can still appreciate them.

Lynn Hobbs, Library Director

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