Tuesday, April 14, 2015

L is for Libraries

I am a former librarian.  All the librarians I know would fit the mold of once a librarian, always a librarian.  Librarians worth their salt are standing on the threshold of freedom of information, barring the way when the censors show up and allowing the “common man” entrance.

And librarians are always sharing stories as there are so many, many stories in a library.  All the fiction books are stories of one kind and another.  Biographies are stories, as well; they’re just about real people.  When Mr. Dewey set up his system of classification, he placed the stories in the 800’s.  But the very best place to look for stories is 398.2, this is where the folktales, fairy tales, tall tales and all the other stories that represent our cultures reside.  Now, “Why?” you may ask, “are these stories, which are obviously not factual, placed in Customs?”  Because folktales and their ilk are our heritage.

In many of the libraries where I worked, the 398.2 section was large, containing both anthologies and picture books.  Some of the older anthologies were simply given the number 398, and many of the newer picture books had numbers added after the .2 to tell the origin of the story.

Next time you need a new story to tell, want to brush up on one you already know, find variants of various kinds take a trip to the library and check out the 398.2 section in either the juvenile or adult sections.  You just might find what you are looking for and a lot more besides!

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