[editor's note: the following long rant will be of interest to you if you (a) are a librarian, (b) like to read, or (c) are as anally-retentive as i am; otherwise, probably not so much.]
ok, so at work they started this thing where they are putting labels on african-american fiction
. whether we should or should not start a labelling campaign is kind of an irrelevant argument since the powers-that-be have already decided that it is a good idea.
personally, i think it is a bad idea because it is only a matter of time before someone wants to know why their pet genre has no label, like, oh, for instance, the people who read inspirational fiction
(which really is just a euphemism for christian fiction
, since i don't think that tim lahaye
books would be very inspirational if you were, say, jewish or muslim, but i digress). then there is the whole problem of authors like octavia butler. she is a female writer of african-american descent who writes science fiction. will the spine of her book one day have 3 labels? again, i digress, because the purpose of this rant is not about future problems. rather, this rant is about a problem right now.
the other day i was weeding
in fiction. i found a book by oonya kempadoo that hadn't circulated in a long while. i checked the computer and noticed that several other branches had it labelled as african-american fiction
which is curious since the author blurb on the jacket reads "born in london and grew up in golden grove, guyana, in the 1970s. she currently lives in grenada.
" so, i asked around to see if there was a list of authors that the labelling team was working from...sure enough, i got my hands on a list. the first name, chinua achebe. i flipped a couple of pages, zadie smith
. nigerian and british, respectively.
i can only wonder if the list was created by someone who opened every book in the fiction area, found the author photo, and "if they look black, they're on the list.
" it seems that i'm the first person to find the glaring mistake. so begins the quest of one freshly-minted librarian to become the squeaky wheel. i'm only writing this here in case there is some library star chamber
and i, mysteriously, turn up missing.
: man bites dog
: philip glass 'kyoko's house'
: "Atticus had long maintained that it was a sin to kill any animal whose sole purpose was to provide delight — his favorite example being the mockingbird. The rest, of course, were fair game.