Blog : Posts tagged with 'library'

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Quiet, please

In which the reference library is louder than you might expect, but somehow seems quieter than normal


Saturday night: to Bristol Central Library, for a gig by The Wraiths, a local band whose “thing” is setting classic poems to music. We’d seen them twice before, at various events,* but last night was the first time we’d seen them performing as a full band.

You might think that a library – the Reference Library Reading Room, in fact – is a slightly odd place to hold a gig. Unusual, I have to admit; Lancaster Library is a regular indie venue, but this was only Bristol Library’s second public concert. The tickets impressed me, for a start: the organisers were clearly trying to set the theme.

Library bookplate or concert ticket?

The library reading room is an amazing space. Part of an early building by Charles Holden, the architect of various iconic London buildings,** it has a high, vaulted ceiling wtih two gallery levels. Unfortunately, I hadn’t thought to bring a camera along; the clatter of a camera shutter can sometimes be a little unwelcome at quiet, intimate gigs. I’ll have to come back on an evening sometime, when the library is open for normal business, and see if they’ll let me take some photos of the interior. It is, allegedly, haunted; the band tried to persuade the gig’s librarian organiser to give us a talk on the various ghosts that live in the building, but sadly it never occurred.

The gig itself can’t really be disassociated, in my head, from the venue. The overall effect was magical, the music filling the vault, although if anything they should have turned the volume up slightly. Although there wasn’t any support, the band played a very full set, two halves and an interval, and the library reference desk had been turned into a cafe-bar for the night. As I said above, we’d seen them twice already, but this gig, with a fuller band, was by far the best; maybe because this time, they were the headline act. They persuaded us to buy their CD,*** and happily encore’d away, slightly tentatively, at the end.

All in all, a great gig, and the second good gig I’ve been to at the library. I’m hoping now that the library sees fit to extend this event into a whole series of concerts: they have a wonderful room, after all, and it makes the music shine.

* and I have a photo of the first time we saw them performing.

** including Senate House, 55 Broadway, and various other Underground Group/London Transport Art Deco premises. At the time Bristol Central Library was built, of course, Art Deco had not yet been thought of, so it’s in more of an Edwardian Classical style.

*** or, rather, the CD of theirs that we didn’t already have.

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Limbo

In which there’s no internet, so we’re tweeting instead


We’re still stuck in internet-connection limbo at Symbolic Towers, as mentioned a week ago. We’ve got the phone line all wired up, we’ve told our broadband people that our phone line has changed, and now we’re waiting to be Jumpered. A nice chap from BT Openreach,* to finish the job, has to pop down to our local exchange and plug in a jumper, a short bit of wire that connects our phone line to the rest of the universe. Before then, no internet.**

In the meantime, I thought I might mention that a few weeks ago I thought I might get up-to-date with the top trends of 2008; so I set up an account on Twitter. Well, I thought I’d better get around to it before my preferred username was taken; and it is rather easier to update on my phone than this site is. I’m @forestpines on there, posting such exciting things as “ooh, I’m in the library” and “look, a nice photo”. At some point I will wire up the blog and the twitter account together, so everything is nicely linked, my twitter posts appear here, my blog posts automatically appear there, and so on. That, though, will have to wait; indeed, I’ll probably upgrade to WordPress 3 before that point.

* BT Openreach, I’m told, only employs Nice Chaps. They do tend to drink a lot of tea and eat a lot of biscuits, though.

** I’m in our local library right now, in case you were wondering, just like I had to do last time we moved house.

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Filing System

In which it may be a good idea that FP no longer works in a library


Looking at our overstuffed bookshelves the other day, I started idly thinking about more interesting ways to file our books. It’s fairly impossible to come up with an entirely useable filing system, because of the way the shelves are stacked three-deep, so I thought it might be more fun to come up with a hard-to-use but more creative system. Filing by number of syllables in title, for example.

Any project like this, it’s important to do the cataloguing. Here are the books I could spot on our shelves* with one-syllable titles:

Tithe
Stiff
Bonk
Bitch
Lust
Prime
Fludd
and Inga Muscio’s Cu

Regular reader E Shrdlu of Clacton writes: But surely, this isn’t going to work? How are you going to find books you need for research? What about subtitles? What about factual books? I mean, surely, for easy access you’re going to need to have all books on the French Revolution in one place, and all the books on the history of the London & North Eastern Railway in another?

Well interrupted, E Shrdlu. I’m not sure it’s practical enough to be going on with. But all those books would definitely look good on a shelf together, I’d think.

* as I said, they’re stacked three rows deep, so statistics suggests we may well have three times as many

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