Friday, February 19, 2010

Searching for Dummies

Okay, you aren’t a dummy. But let’s face it, it seems like Melvil Dewey was determined to make you feel like one when he invented the library classification system. If you’re searching for a book and simultaneously trying to calm a major I-missed-my-nap-today meltdown, the last thing you are interested in is appreciating the finer points of a librarian’s organizational strategy. Here are a few tips on how to find what you want before you lose your mind.

1. The "Keyword" field is your best friend (though probably less sympathetic).  Avoid the "Subject" field which searches only the official Library of Congress description of a book. In case you didn’t know, they file all of the cookbooks under “Cookery.”

2. Make use of the drop down menu to the right of the search field to limit your question to things like “Children’s Picture Books” or “Children’s Non-fiction.” Why look at X-Box games that have “play” in the description when you are trying to find a picture book about sharing?

3. If you can’t find a book on the shelf, just ask. Sometimes WE can’t find things and we are here everyday, so don’t feel embarrassed. We won’t laugh at you, I promise. Well, unless you say something funny, then we will. We like a good joke.

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