Page images
PDF
EPUB

CHAPTER 25.

HUMORS OF THE LIBRARY.*

SOME THOUGHTS ON CLASSIFICATION.

By Librarian F. M. Crunden.
Classification is vexation,
Shelf-numbering is as bad;

The rule of D

Doth puzzle me;
Mnemonics drives me mad.

Air-The Lord Chancellor's Song.
When first I became a librarian,

Says I to myself, says I,
I'll learn all their systems as fast as I can,

Says I to myself, says I;
The Cutter, the Dewey, the Schwartz, and the Poole,
The alphabet, numeral, mnemonic rule,
The old, and the new, and the eclectic school,

Says I to myself, says I.
Class-numbers, shelf-numbers, book-numbers, too,

Says I to myself, says I,
I'll study them all, and I'll learn them clear thro',

Says I to myself, says I;
I'll find what is good, and what's better and best,
And I'll put two or three to a practical test;
And then-if I've time—I'll take a short rest,

Says I to myself, says I.
But art it is long and time it doth fly,

Says I to myself, says I,
And three or four years have already passed by,

Says I to myself, says I;
And yet on those systems I'm not at all clear,
While new combinations forever appear,
To master them all is a life-work, I fear,

Says I to myself, says I.

*Mostly from the Library Journal, New York.

Gail

Classification in a Library in Western New York: Hamilton's "Woolgathering,” under Agriculture.

Book asked for. “An attack philosopher in Paris."

A changed title. A young woman went into a library the other day and asked for the novel entitled "She combeth not her head,” but she finally concluded to take “He cometh not, she said.”

Labor-saving devices. The economical catalogue-maker who thus set down two titles

"Mill on the Floss,”

do. Political economy.has a sister who keeps a universal scrap-book into which everything goes, but which is carefully indexed. She, too, has a mind for saving, as witness:

“Patti, Adelina.

do. Oyster.”

From a New York auction catalogue:

“267. Junius Stat Nominis Umbrii, with numerous splendid portraits.”

At the New York Free Circulating Library, a youth of twenty said Shakespeare made him tired. “Why couldn't he write English instead of indulging in that thee and thou business ?” Miss Braddon he pronounced "a daisy". A pretty little blue-eyed fellow “liked American history best of all," but found the first volume of Justin Winsor's history too much for him. “The French and German and Hebrew in it are all right, but there's Spanish and Italian and Latin, and I don't know those.”

A gentleman in Paris sent to the bookbinder two volumes of the French edition of “Uncle Tom's Cabin.” The title in French is “L'Oncle Tom," and the two volumes were returned to him marked on their backs: L'Oncle,

L'Oncle,
Tome I.

Tome II.

How A BIBLIOMANIAC BINDS His Books.

I'd like my favorite books to bind
So that their outward dress
To every bibliomaniac's mind
Their contents should express.
Napoleon's life should glare in red,
John Calvin's life in blue;
Thus they would typify bloodshed
And sour religion's hue.
The Popes in scarlet well may go;
In jealous green, Othello;
In gray, Old Age of Cicero,
And London Cries in yellow.
My Walton should his gentle art
In salmon best express,
And Penn and Fox the friendly heari
In quiet drab confess.
Crimea's warlike facts and dates
Of fragrant Russia smell;
The subjugated Barbary States
In crushed Morocco dwell.
But oh! that one I hold so dear
Should be arrayed so cheap
Gives me a qualm; I sadly fear
My Lamb must be half-sheep!

IRVING BROWNE.

In a Wisconsin library, a young lady asked for the “Life of National Harthorne” and the “Autograph on the breakfast table.”

"Have you a poem on the Victor of Manengo, by Anon?”

Library inquiry—“I want the catalogue of temporary literature.”

Query-What did she want?

A friend proposes to put Owen's "Footfalls on the Boundaries of Another World” in Travels. Shall we let him?

A poet, in Boston, filled out an application for a volume of Pope's works, an edition reserved from circulation, in the following tuneful manner:

"You ask me, dear sir, to a reason define
Why you should for a fortnight this volume resign
To my care.-I am also a son of the nine.

A worthy Deutscher, confident in his mastery of the English tongue, sent the following quaint document across the sea:

“I send you with the Post six numbers, of our Allgemeine Militär-Zeitung, which is published in the next year to the fifty times. Excuse my bath english I learned in the school and I forgot so much. If you have interest to german Antiquariatskataloge I will send to you some. I remain however yours truly servant."

A gentlemanly stranger once asked the delivery clerk for a genealogy.” “What one?” she asked. “Oh! any,” he said. "Well-Savage's?” “No; white men."

Said Melvil Dewey: “To my thinking, a great librarian must have a clear head, a strong hand, and, above all, a great heart. Such shall be greatest among librarians; and, when I look into the future, I am inclined to think that most of the men who will achieve this greatness will be women."

A LIBRARY HYMN.

By an Assistant Librarian. I have endeavored to clothe the dull prose of the usual Library Rules with the mantle of poetry, that they may be more attractive, and more easily remembered by the great public whom we serve.

Gently, reader, gently moving,
Wipe your feet beside the door;
Hush your voice to whispers soothing,
Take your hat off, I implore!
Mark your number, plainly, rightly,
From the catalogue you see;

With the card projecting slightly,
Then your book bring unto me.

Quickly working,

With no shirking,
Soon another there will be.
If above two weeks you've left me,
Just two cents a day I'll take,
And, unless my mind's bereft me,
Payment you must straightway make.
Treat your books as if to-morrow,
Gabriel's trump would surely sound,
And all scribbling, to your sorrow,
'Gainst your credit would be found.

Therefore tear not,

Spot and wear not
All these books so neatly bound.
These few simple rules abiding,
We shall always on you smile:
There will be no room for chiding,
No one's temper will you rile.
And when Heaven's golden portals
For you on their hinges turn,
With the books for all immortals,
There will be no rules to learn.

Therefore heed them,

Often read them,
Lest your future weal you spurn.

TITLES OF BOOKS ASKED FOR BY WRITTEN SLIPS IN A POPULAR

LIBRARY.

Aristopholus translated by Buckley.
Alfreri Tragedus.
Bertall Lavie Hors De Ches Soi.

Cooke M. C. M. A. L. L. D. their nature and uses. Edited by Rev. J. M. Berkeley M. A. F. R. S. (Fungi.)

Caralus Note Book (A Cavalier's).
Gobden Club-Essays.
Specie the origin of Darwin.
An Epistropal Prayer Book.

« PreviousContinue »