Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A letter to the VPL concerning their catalogue

Over the summer your catalogue seems to have developed a fairly serious problem in regards to your collection of graphic novels. At some point it seems that many of them were, for no apparent reason, reclassified from "Comic Book" to "Book".

Let's look at some examples.

1. If I search for Scott Pilgrim I get 23 items. If I limit this to "Comic Book" (under "Book" in the "Format" sidebar), this goes down to three items, one of which is actually a DVD. (If you don't believe me go look at the Full Record description where it's described as "Scott Pilgrim vs. the world [videorecording]".)

If I instead limit it to "Book", I get 15 results, the first seven of which are actually comic books/graphic novels (the rest of which are not actually related to Scott Pilgrim).

2. If I search for X-Men I get 179 results. If I limit this to "Comic Book" I get 13 results, including 2 DVDs, 2 children's books, 1 novel, a "how to draw" book, and a non fiction book. Not very useful.

If I limit this to "Book" I get 150 results, many (most?) of which are actually comic books/graphic novels.

3. If I search for Ghost World I get 318 items. If I limit this to "Comic Book" I get 2 results, one of which is a DVD and one of which is a comic, but not Ghost World by Daniel Clowes.

If I limit to "Book" the top two results are graphic novels, though one of them seems to be unsure of whether it's Ghost World or Maggie the Mechanic.

4. If I search for Naruto I get 129 results. If I limit this to "Comic Book" I get 25 results, and most of them seem to be actually comics! Only one (that I saw) is a DVD.

If I limit to "Book" I get 53 results, dozens of which are comics.

I think this to be a serious problem because people cannot effectively use your catalogue to find graphic novels.

I do not believe that this was a problem earlier this year, and I do not know what has happened, but I hope something is done about it soon.


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Toronto Zine Library

292 Brunswick Avenue (second floor of the Tranzac Club)

I went and visited the Toronto Zine Library while I was in Toronto over the summer. It was cool to see another zine library, as I don't think I'd been in one since I left Halifax last year (get it together Vancouver!).

To be honest, it was so long ago I barely remember much of it, though I did get to go to Zine Dream in the Tranzac Club (in the same building). It was a kind of neat event, but it was filled with people selling art prints and expensive art zines and stuff I'm not that into. I'm not opposed to people making that sort of thing, I'm just not that interested in buying/reading them.

I did get to meet the creator of Gender Fuck What, which was neat. I got their new zine though, so look out for a review of that at some point on 365 Zines a Year. I also got some rad zines about zine libraries, and I'll have a list about those on soon(ish).

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Toronto Public Library: Sanderson Branch

327 Bathurst Street

So I went to so many libraries while I was in Toronto that I can't remember where all of them even where (it was like a month ago!). It just took me like ten minutes of clicking around on Google maps ant the Toronto Public Library to even find this one.

Inside they had these cute little window seats. Sure they could be more comfortable (I didn't actually sit in them so I don't know how they felt), but they seem like pretty nice places to read a book.

Friday, September 6, 2013

#3 Part Deux: Mount Pleasant Branch - "Information Books"

I arranged to have yet another adaptation of Jane Eyre sent to the Mount Pleasant Branch at Kingsway and Main as a reason for visiting there one very sunny afternoon. This turned out to be an interesting tactic, as dvds placed on hold are not put out on the hold shelves at Mount Pleasant Branch, but rather are kept behind the circulation desk. It took me an inordinately long time staring at the holds shelf trying to find the item supposedly there for me before I spotted the very clearly placed sign telling me about the dvd holds. The lady at the desk told me that so many dvds were stolen out of cases at that particular branch that they started placing at least the on hold dvds behind the desk so they would be in the case when the patron came to pick up their hold.

Despite what that little story may bring up in your imagination, this is actually a relatively snazzy library branch, though not much to my own taste personally. It is located in a well-appointed community center and is a pretty good size including some well-lit seating by a corner full of windows at the back. A wall literally divides the room down the center with mostly children’s and YA materials on one side and adult and non-fiction stuff on the other side. Amusingly the sign over the non-fiction books on the “adult” side of the library labeled them as “Information Books.” There is also a zine section in this library by the adult graphic novels, which is not something I've spotted anywhere else but at the Central Branch before. Meanwhile, the children’s side also has ESL materials and some tables for working or reading at, which made for an interesting mix of patrons in that area, children, young adults, and several mostly elderly adults.

I found signs listing a Teen Manga and a DIY Button Making event for teens which sounded neat. But further observation made me realize these were not events local to that library, but rather events occurring generally across the library system or at the Central Branch downtown. I wonder how many events actually occur within the small branch libraries embedded within local communities of VPL versus at the large central branch downtown which has the space and resources for events. It seems like a kind of unfortunate tension between where the people are and where the resources and space are.

The version of Jane Eyre I snagged this time was the 1996 2-hour movie with Charlotte Gainsbourg and William Hurt, Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre. For those who might be interested, a young Anna Paquin plays the childhood Jane Eyre in the early scenes, which sadly I did not really like. I found those scenes lacked subtlety and in that way assumed the audience wasn't intelligent enough to pick up on the themes and emotional motifs on their own without having them bashed into their faces in the most literal of ways. This tendency crops up again periodically throughout the movie.

 I cannot help but find Gainsbourg an appealing Jane Eyre even though she definitely plays up the isolated, quiet queerness of the character. Little Adele is actually fairly appealing in this version which most certainly is not always the case. But the major problem is William Hurt as Mr. Rochester who brings little or no drama to what is supposed to be an intense role (and really the story makes no sense if there is no great tension in his character). Although, unlike some of the earlier versions of Jane Eyre, there is a musical score, I find it is rather ridiculous at times. The music when Rochester first appears is utterly inappropriate to the moment, though really that whole scene is played with the most amount of practicality and least actual character and drive or any of the Jane Eyre adaptations I have ever seen. At least Jane's sketches are actually fairly nice, because often they are really just terrible and over dramatic and silly.


Thursday, September 5, 2013

Toronto Public Library: Riverdale Branch

370 Broadview Ave.

I think this building looks much more library-like than the last one. Which I guess raises the question "what should a library look like?".

I've been reading some articles about the new, fancy, incredibly expensive (188 million pounds) library which just opened in Birmingham in England. Of course while I'm sure this library is cool, it's also being opened at a time when the hours and staff at other libraries in Birmingham are being cut back and I wonder if it's the best way to use that money.

Then there are the issues surrounding library design. How do you design a building to last when you have no idea what libraries will even be used for in a decade? (Okay, they'll still probably be used for borrowing books.) 

In regards to design the central branch of the Vancouver Public Library recently got rid of their reference desks and replaced them with roving reference librarians who will come find you if you phone or tweet at them. How modern! I'm curious to see how it'll be received. Personally I totally hate it. When I was in the library recently I discovered that the zine section had been moved. I asked at the downstairs information desk (which is still there!) and was told it was on the third floor. After wandering around on the third floor I couldn't find it, and I also couldn't find any librarians. So I left. I don't particularly want to phone somebody and wait for them to show up when all I want is for them to point me in the right direction.

Of course, I pretty much only ask for help when I can't find something (which most of the time is because it's been stolen), and by asking for help to find it I'm indirectly letting the library know it's been stolen.

And hey, speaking of missing books, remember when I complained about all the X-Men comics being stolen from the library? At the time there were 145 results for X-Men when you limited the search to comic books. Now there are only 19 (five of which _still_ aren't actually comics, and may not even be about the X-Men)! What happened? Did they actually delete all those books that were missing? No, it seems they've just moved them over to the "books" section. I do not understand why they have done this.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Toronto Public Library: St. James Town

St. James Town Branch
495 Sherbourne Street

This was actually the closest branch to where I was staying in Toronto, but I walked passed it multiple times before I even realized it was a library. No doubt at least in part because the entrance way was away from the road I walked on, and inside past people playing table tennis. Though, while you can't really see it in this photo, it does say "library" in a large font behind those windows, so maybe I'm just dumb.

When I realized it was a library I heard a bunch of kids up high somewhere, and I had high hopes that I'd be able to get up onto the roof easily. Alas, it turned out to just be a daycare that had roof access.

So in my last post I said that Toronto had 98 branches (!!!), this is because in 1998 Toronto amalgamated with a bunch of other cities. This meant that the library systems were also combined, and seven different systems (Etobicoke, North York, York, East York, Scarborough, Metro Toronto, and Toronto) became one. These systems had between one and thirty three branches and I can't imagine the nightmare that must have resulted in trying to combine all of their systems.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Toronto Public Library: Parliament Street Branch

269 Gerrard Street East

This was the first public library branch that I visited in Toronto, and despite going here a couple of times (to use the internet, yes yes, I am boring), I forgot to take a photo of it during the day time. So here's a lovely photo of it at night.

This branch seemed pretty similar to ones that I've seen in Vancouver, though my mom enjoyed a display of children's books about stories from other cultures (specifically, she wanted me to remind her about Tales Told in Tents: Stories from Central Asia).

At any rate this seems like a good time to talk about some general Toronto Public Library stuff. According to Wikipedia the Toronto Public Library is the largest neighbourhood-based (whatever that means) library system in the world. They have 98 different branch libraries! Wow! That would take a really long time to visit all of those.

Though, I suppose that if you included all of the different library systems in the greater Vancouver area (I don't even know what all of them are) you'd have...well, you'd still have a lot less. Toronto's public library system is big!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Toronto Public Library: Runnymede Branch

Runnymede Branch
2178 Bloor Street West

So I went to a lot of public libraries. A lot. I mean, there are 98 different branches, and by some metrics is the largest library system in the world. So of course in most of the libraries all I did was use the internet. Only 30 minutes allowed on a guest pass? Bah!

I liked these carvings outside the library. And then I discovered that the architecture of this building is famous or something. I had no idea there even was a Canadian style of architecture.

Nationally recognized for its distinctively Canadian style Runnymede Branch was designed by John M. Lyle one of this country's most distinguished 20th-century architects. In the 1920s a surging sense of national pride inspired Lyle to create a uniquely Canadian architecture that blended European styles with Canadian themes and ornamentation. Runnymede Branch was his second attempt at such a design. The building is constructed of variegated red and yellow Credit Valley stone and combines Georgian French and early Quebec styles the latter in its steeply pitched hipped roof. Lyle used Canadian aboriginal motifs for much of the decoration including totem poles at the main entrance and arrowheads in the iron railing above. Carvings of native plants and animals also embellish the building. In 1989 the Runnymede Branch was featured on the first in a series of postage stamps celebrating Canadian architecture. The building was most recently restored and enlarged in 2005.

Monday, August 26, 2013

George Mackie Library

Wow so, it turns out doing multiple research projects simultaneously is really time and energy consumptive. That combined with some traveling resulted in my sadly long delay in posting again. But now I have some spare time so ….

The second library I visited on my birthday was actually not a VPL branch. I didn't particularly want to do anything to celebrate my birthday this year but a friend suggested we bus all the way out an hour and a half to Delta just to have donuts at Krispy Kreme. This was such a ridiculous and stupid idea that of course I said yes, on the condition that we visited a local public library. So we snagged a few more friends and trekked out for donuts and a visit to the library.

The George Mackie Library is part of the Fraser Valley Regional Library system which is actually the largest library system in BC with 25 branches (compared to VPL's 22 branches) and nearly 700,000 people in its service area (Vancouver currently has just over 600,000 people). You can tell that the George Mackie Library (8440 112th Street, Delta, BC) has a bit of money behind it cause it was a really nice library. There was a large children area with a huge stuffed moose and some itty bitty cushy chairs that I sat in. A friend snapped a picture of me crunched up into one of these chairs, but you all will not be seeing that picture. Instead, here is a picture of the fireplace and plush chairs in another area.

Everything was clearly laid out and there were lots of signs up, all having the same color scheme and design which made them quite attractive. Several walls had neat topical displays such as “Interesting People” and “Travel the World” all with books well-spaced and faced to clearly display the covers to patrons. The youth books and books-on-cd were intermixed on the shelves, which I really like, especially in smaller collections. They also had a cart by the reference desk that held items recently returned but not yet shelved. What I liked about this was that it wasn’t just a mysterious cart of books left sitting somewhere in the library but instead  was clearly labeled, books were kept neatly on the cart, and patrons could have some fun with seeing what books interested other people and might interest them too. This idea in particular really grabs me for some reason.

The shelves were very neat and had a lot of faced items so they looked appealing and uncluttered (this library was anything but cluttered!). Hilariously, I discovered that behind many of the neatly shelved books were white boxes. I’m not sure if the boxes are used as guides to help place items at the right depth on the shelf or what, but I kept randomly finding them behind sections of books.

Metal shelves attached to the ends of the main stacks held more books with their covers displayed for patrons to select. I asked a librarian whether or not the catalogue would tell a patron if a book they search for was on the shelf in its regular spot or on one of these end displays. She told me the catalogue wouldn't say that, which seems unfortunate. I guess if the patron asked for assistance in locating an item that wasn't where it was supposed to be on the shelf, the librarians would likely know where to look. But still, it would be nice if the catalogue was capable of giving the patron that information.

They had “Grab and Go” bags of books, each labeled with a genre or age group, in several areas around the library. The bags were loosely sealed (“no peeking” say the instructions) and inside was 5-6 books in that genre. Each bag had a slip tucked in it with barcodes so the checkout desk could just snag that list and check all the items out to the patron without revealing the mystery goodies inside. It’s a nice take on the date with a mystery book ideal which blends with a kind of reader’s advisory aspect too.

My very favorite part of all might have been the display in the window that peered back into the library work area. A whole bunch of bookmarks or all kinds were hung off strings by clips with a sign that said “Did you lose your book mark?” Sadly someone was working right behind the display so I didn't disrupt them by taking a picture.


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Ryerson University Library

350 Victoria Street
I visited this library pretty much immediately after the U of T library. It was slightly better!

They also couldn't grant me a guest account (sigh), but there were some computers that I could use without logging on. They only had Internet Explorer (and an old version I think), and they had a terrible resolution, but at least I could use them to check my email.

One of the librarians there said that they thought York University gave out guest accounts, but I'm not sure how accurate that is, or who the guest accounts are given to (just to students from other universities?). I never went to check it out, as York is faaarrr away from where I was staying.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

University of Toronto Robarts Library

130 St. George St.

While I was in Toronto I went to a lot of different libraries, so be prepared for several weeks of pretty similar posts about using the internet. But first! A tale of not using the internet.

At the main U of T library I asked if I could get a guest account to use the computers. I am a graduate student, albeit at another library, but this apparently doesn't matter as I was told "no". But there were some computers open to the public and I could get an account for one of those.

I got an account, trekked upstairs and discovered that of the four computers available for public use, one was broken, and the other three were occupied. There appeared to be no way to sign up for a time slot, no way to know how long someone had been on a computer (or what the time limit was), and at least one other person waiting, so I left. Disappointing. Apparently you can't even get into the stacks without a library card. Lame.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Lexington Public Library: Central Branch

140 East Main Street 

The Central Branch of the Lexington Public library has some neat stuff. There's a giant pendulum in the main lobby and an art gallery.

In the actual library finding the stairs to get around was a little frustrating (they're in the back of the children's section, I think they could be better marked).

I also liked that they used this giant globe (you can't see how big it in this picture, but it's huge), as an educational tool because it was outdated. I fear that some places would have just thrown it out just because some country borders have changed. Lame!

The above photo is one (!) of the rooms in the library's book sale room. Holy crap! They had so many books for sale, way more than I'm used to seeing in libraries. I mean, most libraries I go in Vancouver have like a shelf or two, but this one had multiple rooms. It was bigger than bookshops I've been to. I picked up a fantasy novel for a dollar. And while selling books isn't the real purpose of libraries, it was still awesome!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

University of Kentucky: William T. Young Library

University of Kentucky: William T. Young Library

My friend told me I should go and check out this library because the architecture reminded her of a video game. From the outside it doesn't really seem that way, but once you go inside it really does.

There are these weird triangular staircases on each side of the building. These really reminded me of a level in a game like Quake (or any first person shooter really). It was actually kind of frustrating having to walk up and down them instead of just jumping.

There's also this weird circular central bit surrounded by a huge space. Clearly this makes it perfect for firing rocket launchers at people on other levels.

Down in the basement I found a display of Soviet propaganda posters. Awesome! They had QR codes that brought you to additional information about the posters. While "cool", it would have been nice if they just posted that on the walls for people that don't have smart phones.

Description:  Image of Geneva Accord broken through by a death’s-head US soldier.
Translated Text:   “The Geneva Accord is the aggressor’s bridle!”

Thursday, August 8, 2013

University of Iowa Library

Part of the Iowa City Zine Librarian (un)Conference happened at this library, and it was neat to get a tour of their special collections. They have a pretty cool collection of collections, including a huge one of various cooking related books (including a section devoted to mystery novels about cooking), a big science fiction fanzine collection, and a bunch of catalogue cards that have been turned into art.

Now while there is lots of cool stuff in those collections, I did have a few issues with it. They seem to treat their collections of fanzines (and comics) as though they were manuscripts. This means that they're organized by collection and box and not really catalogued beyond title of fanzine. Personally I don't really care who the zines belonged to, I'd much rather know who contributed to the zines!

Additionally their storage methods for some of their comics (unbagged, sideways in boxes) are such that I'm positive they're going to end up with rolled spines. Plus none of this stuff is on display! You have to ask to see each box individually.

They also have the zine machine! About which I've already written on another of my blogs.

Plus, unlike certain other universities we'll soon be discussing, they gave me a guest account to use on all their computers, allowing me to log in and use the internet to my heart's content. Great!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Iowa City Public Library

123 South Linn St.

There appears to only be one branch of the Iowa City Public Library, but it's pretty nice, especially so after the ones in Chicago made me sad. It's located downtown, next to some pedestrian shopping streets, a playground, a fountain I always saw kids playing in, and some pianos just sitting out for people to use!

At first I was quite impressed by their graphic novel selection. That photo above (including those shelves way in the back that you can barely see) shows less than half of their collection. Awesome! And while I definitely spent some time here reading comics, I also discovered why it's important to have people that know the subject matter in charge of ordering books.

While I think that Grant Morrison's run on X-Men is something that libraries should consider having available (at least if they want a strong modern superhero collection), do they really need it in three different formats? I think the answer is "no", but the question of why a library might have it in three different formats is because it's available in _a lot_ of different formats. There are like four different formats that I can think of, which collect his run in 1, 3, 7, and 8 volume versions (and several of these come in both hard and softcover versions). If you're not super aware of what's in these it seems like it would be easy enough to order on accidentally. Plus Marvel is infamous for letting books go out of print (and maybe replacing them with a completely different edition). If you need to reorder a volume due to damage or theft, how do you figure out which edition you need? (And this was just one example.)

In non-comic book library info, the Iowa City library also let you borrow art! All of the paintings/photos/posters above could be borrowed for up to eight weeks! The only thing that would make it better is if you could actually look at the images on their catalogue.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

#2 Part Deux: South Hill Branch - I Really Did Go Visit It, Right???

Being a very, very good librarian in training, I spent my birthday this year visiting not one, but two different libraries. The first was the South Hill Branch at Frasier and 45th-ish. This branch has some quite colourful designs painted outside, but trying to grab a snapshot of them from the sidewalk was rather challenging. I simply could not seem to catch a moment when nobody was walking by, and I didn't want to catch someone in the picture without their permission to post it here. Finally a got a shot and only later noticed that the window reflection makes it look like a car advertisement.

This was a surprisingly busy branch in the middle of the day on Wednesday but seating was rather scarce. Every public computer was full and at least three inquiries about getting on computers were made while I was within earshot of the reference desk librarian. When I wandered over to the Young Adult section I disturbed three patrons seated on the floor sorting through several piles of books. There was a neon green bean bag chair in the corner there, but as it was occupied, no picture was taken. I finally managed to snag a wooden chair up against the front window for a bit, which gave me the chance to sort through my haul, since, as usual, I left with far more than I had intended to get. One item, Gil Jordan, Private Detective: Murder by High Tide, I got simply because of the design inside the cover – or more particularly because of the detail in the lower right corner of the inner cover.

Actually to be honest, I also chose it because I realized it was Franco-Belgian comic in, as I was to later learn, the ligne claire style. If you do not know what that means, think The Adventures of Tintin comics. I vaguely remembered a friend telling me once about a comic’s publisher that periodically reprints, in nice quality editions, translations of European comics otherwise impossible to find in English. I’m not certain if this is what my friend was talking about, but it certainly was a beautifully executed book - excepting that they "Americanized" the name from Gil Jourdan to Gil Jordan. Other than that, my only beef with the book was that it got caught in my book bag when trying to pull it out later and my yanking on it resulted in it flying upward and bashing me in the eyebrow.

The selection at South Hill Branch was not large. I noticed that, compared to Collingwood, it had a much smaller and less colourful children’s area though still quite a selection of children’s materials. What it had instead was a notable Tagalog collection. As it happened, I accidentally sent another hold to this branch a few days later and had to return to pick it up. It wasn't until then that I realized their holds area was smaller than at most any other branch I've visited, though the little corner was crammed full of items. Overall, though, I found this branch oddly unmemorable. It took me forever to write this post, because I simply had hardly any thought or memory of being at this branch compared to all the other ones that I have visited now.

I had made certain ahead of time that this branch had another adaptation of Jane Eyre on the shelves as a reason to visit it initially. It was the 1973 mini-series with Sorcha Cusack as Jane Eyre and Michael Jayston as Mr. Rochester. Sadly I personally found Cusack to be blank and boring as Jane Eyre and the mini-series adds an unfortunate voice over that often tells you quite exactly what is already occurring on screen or adds some odd comment on the moment that you really, really wish they would have endeavored to SHOW you (this being a visual medium and all) rather than pedantically telling you. The viewing experience for this mini-series was quite painful and to be honest, largely punctuated by me reading homework or wandering off to the kitchen mid “dramatic” scene to go find something to nibble on. Unless you are like me and have set yourself some inexplicable goal to watch every adaptation of Jane Eyre available via your local library system, I do not recommend wasting valuable life on this version.


Thursday, August 1, 2013

Chicago Innovation Lab

I forgot to take a photo of the entrance of the Chicago Public Library's new maker lab, so you'll just have to do with the 3d printed octopus.

"Maker labs", or whatever you want to call them, are super hot in the library world right now. Everyone wants them and, perhaps more crucially, it's possible to get grant money for them. Thus the underfunded Chicago library system has just opened a new space filled with various 3d printers, laser cutters, and other cool things.

I'll ignore the fact that it seems weird to me to be funding this when so many of the CPL's other services seem to be lacking. But it's not like they could have used this money to hire more shelvers. However, the funding only lasts until December (I think), and we'll see if this place will exist after that.

At any rate I think 3d printers are pretty cool. I'd love to play around with them at some point myself. I didn't have enough time to really use this one as it was closing for the day pretty soon after I got there.

However, one problem I had with this place was that the people working there didn't seem to have been adequately trained in the use of the equipment. This isn't to say that they had no idea what they were doing, just that they could definitely have been using the stuff more effectively. They admitted to me that they were still being trained on how to use everything. I think there was even one piece of equipment they hadn't used at all when I came by (though admittedly they'd only been open about a week). This kind of baffles me, why put people in charge of expensive equipment when they can't use it that well?

I wish that I'd have gotten more opportunity to experience the lab (and actually print something!), or even see it again in a few months when the kinks have been worked out, but it was neat seeing the 3d printers in action anyway.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Chicago Public Library: Harold Washington Library Center

Harold Washington Library Center
400 S. State Street

Okay, so I wrote a bunch of shit about the Chicago Public Library, but I'm going to be more positive for a couple of posts. The Harold Washington branch is the big downtown library in Chicago, and while it has many of the problems I discussed in the other posts, I'm going to talk about some cool things.

Actually, first one more bad thing. There's a separate Young Adult section at this library, which is neat. What isn't neat is that _all_ of the YA books and material are there, and it's hours are considerably shorter than the rest of the library. The Library is open 9-9 on many days, while the YA section is only open from 1-8pm. Great!

Anyway, on to some good things. There's some neat architecture/sculpture outside.


More in the "weird' section, they have a huge card catalogue for music scores that hasn't been updated in almost 20 years. They also have loads of vinyl records that you can borrow!

I honestly barely remember how these are even used.

They also had a huuuggee section of clippings from magazines and stuff. It was really weird, and what was kind of weirder was that it was still being updated. While it was really neat, it was also weirdly useless as there was no note as to where any of the clippings came from originally. Sure that's an awesome picture of a 17th century fashion, but where did it come from? I have no idea. Unfortunately I didn't take any photos of the actual clippings.

There was also a music listening room where I think you could listen to records and stuff if you gave them to the staff to put into bizarre machines inaccessible to patrons, multiple (strangely un-sound proofed) piano practice rooms (two of which were in use), and nobody around.

There were even less people on the next floor up, which had offices, and weird empty corridors and rooms. It was almost like exploring some abandoned location in Bioshock or some other video game.

This was in the lobby of the library. America, you are weird. Putting a flag on the ground is bad, but putting it into a box where people can throw old batteries and garbage on top of it is fine? I will never understand.