RARA-AVIS: Re: Libraries

From: Kevin Burton Smith ( kvnsmith@colba.net)
Date: 15 Jun 2001

> > No offense, but I think your library is in the minority. (Public,
>> right?) I've never seen a library that didn't break their collection
>> down by genre.
>> ...while I've never been in one that does. And I've been in quite
>> a few.
>You've never been in a library that had Science Fiction, Mystery,
>Western, Horror, and/or Romance sections? Ever?
>Maybe it's just my experience, then.

I've been in both types. I think it has to do with the size of the library more than rather it's rural or urban (some big city libraries have sub-branches all over). Big ones divide, small ones don't. Of course, in Montreal, the big divide is between French and English, so even larger libraries are actually often really two small libraries rolled into one.

As for categories, though, I've never been in a library where there were western or horror sections. The western category is probably an American thing --although I see western sections in some of the larger bookstores, I never seen them in their own section in libraries. I just don't think there's a huge fan base for cowboy lit in Quebec. Maybe out west more. But horror? Are there libraries that have so many horror books that they actually have their own section? I'm boggled.

It's nice to have books divided by genre, for the ease of browsing Anthony pointed out, but you also run the risk of missing out on writers like Elmore Leonard or Carl Hiaasen who don't really write
"mysteries." Or "serious" writers who dabble in the form. No system is perfect.

And, of course, us genre readers aren't very smart, anyway, so every little bit helps....

# To unsubscribe from the regular list, say "unsubscribe rara-avis" to
# majordomo@icomm.ca.  This will not work for the digest version.
# The web pages for the list are at http://www.miskatonic.org/rara-avis/ .

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 15 Jun 2001 EDT