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The Laws of the Library

At Excelsior the other night, Sarah was telling a childhood story of the Evil Censoring Librarian, who would not pull a Victor Hugo novel off a high shelf for her "because you'll never finish it." Lawrence (a librarian) and I both gasped. "That violates one of the Laws of Library Science!" I shrieked.

Sarah said, "What are the other Laws of Library Science?"

And Lawrence and I looked at each other. "Uh... Well, they're good rules," we mumbled, "and that definitely violates one of them."

Without further ado:

The Five Laws of Library Science

by S.R. Ranganathan

  • Books are for use.
  • Every reader his (or her) book.
  • Every book its reader.
  • Save the time of the patron.
  • The library is a growing organism.

I got my Field Guide to Surreal Botany entry out of the last one, plus a short story no one has published yet.

Also, for IBARW: That which everyone else has already linked to, I feel, but the author is a librarian, Aryan Elves and Damsels Distressed: a Librarian-Writer’s View of Bias in American SF

God, I love librarians.


Aug. 9th, 2008 04:51 am (UTC)
And here I thought they were "The three rules of the Librarians of Time and Space are: (1) Silence; (2) Books must be returned no later than the last date shown, and (3) the nature of causality must not be interfered with."
Aug. 9th, 2008 12:12 pm (UTC)
Heh. What's that from? A book, or your brain?
Aug. 9th, 2008 05:17 pm (UTC)
I don't remember which Discworld book they appeared in first; probably Guards! Guards!. (Yup; just checked in the Pratchett Quote File.)

Guards! Guards! is a pretty good starting point for the Discworld books, and one of my favorites as well.
Aug. 9th, 2008 05:37 pm (UTC)
I read a fair number of Pratchetts back in high school, but I confess I haven't kept up... in spite of being deeply enamored of him when I've seen him at conventions.

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