According to my hayfever, summer is well and truly upon us. In the Library, summers are periods of transition and frenzied projects, desperately juggling the end-of-year tasks with preparations for the year ahead. To help grapple with our overbooked diaries, we here at the Music Library love to play host to library student interns. It’s a great arrangement where we get a free extra pair of skilled hands while the students gain practical and diverse experience.
One of the many projects our student interns will be working on this summer is the continuation of our efforts to catalogue all 2,200 LPs in our collection. They’re currently logged on an old-fashioned card catalogue, which is great if you specifically want to listen to LPs, but not-so-great if you’re just looking on Voyager for a much-needed recording. The project to get the LP information uploaded onto Voyager began in January with another library student intern, Martin Bauschmann.
I remember the first day I took Martin over to the Music Building to view our LP collection and card catalogue. Just as I was getting ready to go down the hallway, I was stopped by one of the Music Porters:
“Oh, are you going to be going through those boxes in the Photocopy Room?”
“What boxes?” I asked, bewildered and with just the faint hint of burgeoning panic.
“You know, all those boxes of magazines on the 2nd floor.” At my blank look of fear, the porter continued, “Here, let me take you both there.”
Numbly, I nodded and motioned for Martin to follow along in our trek upstairs. I was in a state of shock. Hadn’t I—finally—seen the last of the boxes (see True Stories No. 2)? How was it possible that the seemingly never-ending task of relocating the library was truly becoming an endless endeavour? Focusing on deep-breathing and reminding myself that at this point, a couple more boxes wasn’t exactly the end of the world, I joined the porter and Martin in cautiously opening the door…
…and that was where I finally met my breaking point. Boxes upon boxes upon boxes, all clearly labelled as property of the Music Library. I took one look at the towering mess in front of me and promptly sat right down on the ground in despair and protest. The porter, realising that I was something of a lost cause at that particular moment in time turned to Martin and said, “Well, I’ll just leave you to it, then,” and high-tailed it out of there. Martin chuckled nervously.
In the end—after several more trips made by me, Martin, and others to sort through the scores, books, and (ironically) old 78rpm records in ‘The Box Room of DOOM’—it was finally determined that the boxes were not, in fact, the Library’s, but that we had simply donated empty boxes which had previously housed the BBC Collection (See True Stories No. 2).
So, the moral to the story is, if you give someone your empty boxes, make sure you CROSS OUT YOUR NAME, first. Oh, and if you happen to be inspired to sit on the ground in protest and despair, it’s always a good idea to first check that a) the floor has been recently swept, and b) you’re not wearing your good black trousers.
As for our LP collection, well Martin did an incredible job, not only cataloguing the first 70 or so LPs, but also putting together a detailed step-by-step guide to which our interns will no doubt gratefully refer many times this July. To follow our progress on the LP cataloguing project, just go to http://library.cf.ac.uk and do a Classmark Browse for “LP”, then browse through the results pages. With luck, we’ll be on our third page of results by the end of the summer.