Thursday, March 03, 2005

The Dewey Decim... System

Finally, after 3+ long months, I stepped into a library again, visiting the campus library where I work. As I stepped farther and farther back into the stacks, it felt like home.

The good news: It's a new library. There is an English-language section. There's Dewey Decimal numbering. The periodical section has several English-language magazines, including Time and Newsweek.

The bad news: The DD numbering stops at 799!

Now any lifelong library bum worth his or her salt knows immediately that there's no literature or history in this collection! Not to mention no biographies! WTF?

Yes, yes, I know it's a technical university. Yes, I know most of the students are engineering students! Yes, I know that even if they wanted to read novels, they wouldn't read them in English, they'd read them in Korean!

I checked the numbering on the Korean side and it also stops at 799. No novels there, either.

Stopping at 799?!?! Why not just get up and leave the table after the soup/salad course? Why not get up out of bed in the middle of the night? Why not leave a passionate assignation as soon as the lipstick gets a little smeared?

I'm pretty sure most of the books in the English-language section will be technical, but I'm determined to comb the shelves thoroughly for potential reading material. I've already whined a bit (!) to one of my co-workers, a nice Welshman (who I'll call Pablo in this blog), and as a consolation of sorts, he invited me to come to his apartment and look at his books.

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