New at Peter White Public Library

What’s New at PWPL: Oddballs and misfits

The field of library science is all about organizing and disseminating information. Stuff comes into the library, and in my department, we prepare that stuff so you can find it. Most of the time, this process is straightforward because we have a system in place: teen fiction goes with teen fiction by author, picture books with picture books by author, adult non-fiction goes to the upper level arranged by Dewey decimal call number, most DVDs go on the main floor by title.

Every so often, something comes into the library that makes me pause and think, “where does this fit?” I’ve noticed that many of the hard-to-fit items are also the most interesting. The following titles all required a little extra consideration before they found their place on the shelf.

“Accidently Wes Anderson” by Wally Koval isn’t really about Wes Anderson so you won’t find it with biographies under 921, and it’s not really about his films so you won’t find it in the 700s with books about movies. It’s about places from around the world that evoke a Wes Anderson sensibility. These places aren’t even necessarily locations for his films, but they could be. The photographs are stunning so it could have fit with photo collections, but it’s mostly a book about places. You will find it under call number 910.202.

Ruby Bridges recently penned a short inspirational book full of historical photographs called “This is Your Time.” As the title implies, the work speaks directly to the reader, but that reader could be anyone of any age. It works as both a read aloud to a child and as a reflective piece for adults. PWPL has two copies, one on the lower level, one on the upper level. Call number is 121.68 for philosophical works having to do with theories of truth.

“Barely Functional Adult” by the cartoonist Meichi Ng has a little too much text in it to be called a graphic novel. It’s self-referencing, but not quite a biography. Parts of it have to do with cartooning, but not the work as a whole. It’s really more of a collection of anecdotes about adulting. You can find it in Adult Nonfiction under call number 817.07, for American humor and satire.

When “A Manga Lover’s Tokyo Travel Guide” by Evangeline Neo entered the collection pre-pandemic, the adult reference librarian and I conferred and decided to put it with the other Tokyo travel books under call number 915.2045. However if I had known there wouldn’t be much physical travel taking place so soon after its release, I would have shelved it with the graphic novels, where anyone wishing to take an imaginary trip to the birth place of manga would find it. All three graphic collections — adult, teen, and children’s — contain nonfiction titles that are excellent resources on a wide variety of topics for the more visually inclined.

Other misfits include over-sized books that you can find on lower shelves in the adult non-fiction section, cook books shelved with health books that address specific dietary concerns, animated classic films by Miyazaki shelved by title in the adult DVD collection and classic animated films by Disney shelved in the juvenile DVD collection. PWPL staff are always willing to help you find something if you aren’t sure where to look.

By Ellen Moore

Cataloging Librarian


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