Thu. May 23rd, 2024
The problematic sign in question

A girl came into the library today asking for a lotto ticket. I was a bit surprised. What made her think we were a newsagents? She said there was a sign out by the entrance advertising Lotto, so she thought this was the place. I put her straight, that she had entered a library and directed her to the nearby newsagents. After that I just had to check outside to see if it was true, and sure enough, there was the sign advertising Tattslotto and Powerball right near the entrance. A colleague said yes, it has been there for a while and it does confuse some people who, like the girl, come in asking for a ticket. We were both amused by that, but it got me thinking. In a way, coming into the library is a bit like winning the lottery – at least, to my mind it is. You come in and you get free books, magazines, audiobooks, cds and dvds, plus computer and internet use all with free membership. And there are thirteen other libraries in this system that you can borrow from, so your benefits are exponential. There are no odds or probabilities to be considered either, it’s a sure thing. The next person who comes in asking for Lotto, I’ll give them that spiel! “Yes, come in, you’re in the right place. You’ve won the lottery!”

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A corner of the cover was slightly dog-eared. That’s the only reason I noticed it, a children’s picture book called The More Monster Book sitting in the picture book section. I was looking for slightly worn books to go onto our ‘grubby’ list. (To be discarded. Yes, we throw out books, we’re a library. Deal with it.) So, sometimes I’ll be shelving, or sorting, or selecting for discards, not paying attention to the contents of these things, when a book will want to make itself known to me. This was the case with The More Monster Book. I flicked through it to see what this More Monster was, and it turned out it was Capitalism! A giant mechanised pig that forced all the little pigs on the island to work and which endlessly consumed things. Then one little pig asked why it was like this, and she rebelled and discovered the More Monster was just a machine that could be controlled if the little pigs worked together. I borrowed it and took it home. It was a fun, subversive read, and it definitely belongs in our library. See, you don’t need the illusory and selfish quick fix of Lotto. Why not work towards making a good life for yourself and others?

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Since I was working in the same library as yesterday, I was able to pick up my VHS to DVD transfer from the shop nearby during lunch. The man there, called Steve, handed over a little showbag of goodies that included my original VHS, the DVD transfer in its own DVD case, some business cards and flyers, and a pack of microwave popcorn. Cute. I took it home and scanned and printed up a copy of the original video cover and slipped it in the DVD case. The program is a documentary about Girl Groups of the Sixties, based on a book of the same title by Alan Betrock. The track list is a who’s who of great girl groups and songs, but there’s one glaring omission I noticed. No Crystals. The closest we get to them is Darlene Love doing He’s a Rebel. I guess there were some copyright problems with getting some Crystals clips. Never mind. I’m looking forward to watching it, which at this stage will be tomorrow.

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After the false start that was my attempt at reading that book Quantum Radio, I’ve returned to the fold of my book collection and started reading one called All the Colours of Darkness, by Lloyd Biggle Jr. This was actually a fairly recent op shop purchase, an old scifi from 1964 with a wonderful Bruce Pennington cover. I couldn’t resist it. It’s actually about matter transferal and the complications that arise from that.

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