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Dear Library Folk,
        I need to vent and get feedback on a couple of things that just
happened in the past week at my library:

1) Our school system has a contract with the Kansas City Card Company to
send card sets for any unprocessed books.  We write up the info, 8 books to
a sheet, and they send self-stick book pockets, book cards, labels for both
pockets and spine, and card sets.  One great thing is that you can
customize your order and have the cards pre-alphabetized, and the shelf
list cards separated and in order.  This saves lots of valuable time!
Well, for two years they have sent all the catalog cards on ivory (cream)
colored card stock.  Suddenly they sent an order on light buff.  All my
catalog cards from them and other places are on cream/ivory card stock.
The only cards in my card catalog on a buff colored stock are the
commercial set of SEE and SEE ALSO cards I bought to make the catalog  more
accessible to my students. This makes them stand out to the students, too.
The buff cards I just received are a lighter buff in between the ivory and
the buff SEE/SEE ALSO's, but definitely noticable as a different shade.
What would you do?  Not make a fuss and just accept the new stock and file
everything right in? Or make this into something bigger with the company
who probably got a good deal on the buff colored stock? Part of me says
this is trivial and there's never enough time to do all the clerical stuff
anyway.  I'd have to delay putting out lots of new books for my students
until this is settled. But a part of me is annoyed at accepting this change
when everything has been so aesthetically consistent for the 6 1/2 years
since I started the library.  What do you think?

2) Our school district has contracted alternately over the years between
Brodart and Baker-Taylor for most of our library books which come
completely processed.  This year it's back to Brodart after a few years
with the other guys.  Well, my order came in 9 boxes and all the labels
have been put on straight up and down, which means that any long call
number goes around the spine of the book and when it's on the shelf one
misses 1 to 4 Dewey numbers, depending on spine width. In all the years
(32) that I've been a librarian and received processed books from these two
companies, this is the first time they didn't use common sense and place
labels on their sides when the number could not be entirely visible on the
part of the spine facing the public and me and anyone reading the shelves
to keep the books in order.  I am PO'd. The person who is our central
processing liason says he didn't mention doing this in customizing our
format with Brodart, but we can do this individually by school on future
orders.  Well, don't you think that anyone who knows anything about
libraries would be smart enough to place the spine labels on books so that
the entire number would be outwardly visible?  When I asked him if they
could look up my order and do a fresh run of spine labels for me (we're
talking 4 out of 5 books) he told me to take it up with Brodart myself and
ask. He didn't know. What do you think? I'll have to use up a number of
label protectors I didn't count on using because of this mess, whether
Brodart sends me a new set or I have to type my own!

"It's got to be the going not the gettin' there that's good." Harry Chapin
in song "Take the Greyhound"
"But then, you could go both ways!"  Scarecrow in movie "The Wizard of Oz"

Sandy Pomerantz, Librarian
Central East Middle School
236 E. Wyoming Ave.
Phila., PA 19120
(215) 456-3037

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