Sunday, December 20, 2009

Here's a librarian question...

Last night I watched The Day After Tomorrow (since Louisville didn't get any snow, I figured I'd watch a movie that had LOTS of snow). And here's what I'm wondering:

If you were trapped in the New York Public Library and had to burn books to stay alive, what sections would you start with?

Myself, I'd probably start with phone directories (since they'll be all out of date when everyone dies and/or moves south anyway), followed by the 551s (weather) since that would obviously need updating.

What do you think?

14 comments:

Sarah said...

I think I would choose on a book by book basis. I'd keep the one's I like and burn the ones I don't. While subjective, at least I'd have a something to read while I waited out the apocalypse.

sharyn said...

When we watched that for movie night, we kept screaming at the TV: "BURN THE FURNITURE! IT WILL LAST LONGER, YOU IDIOTS!"

But, failing that, we also agreed the phone books would have made much more sense to burn :)

Scott J said...

Self help, followed by modern political thought (of the Glenn Beck ilk), last thing I would touch is medical advice.

If it was a non research library, I would gleefully toss the paperback romance into the fire.

Lisa said...

This is a hilarious hypothetical. I admit I'd probably go for the books about football and other competitive sports. Books about rock climbing, sled dog racing, and hopscotch can stay.

Sharyn makes a great point about the furniture, though. We could use the phone books for tinder, then weed based on age, condition, and circulation rate. ;-)

Jen Robinson said...

I love that movie (despite the message-y overtones). I've watched it several times.

I'd start with the phone books, too. And all those "who's who" directories and the like.

Cat Fancy said...

Hmmm....I'd pull all the multiple copies of books first and burn them....then when I got desperate I would start with the 300s. That's all boring stuff in there anyway.

Rachel said...

I'd say it's a great opportunity to do some weeding, and maybe I could "accidentally" get rid of the Rainbow Magic books, too.

Amanda said...

Ahhh Rainbow Magic books! I'm with Rachel...those go first! Accidentally of course :)

GreenBeanTeenQueen said...

I would be with Sarah and burn the books I don't like. The phone books are good, mostly because I hate having to answer telephone directory questions-ugh! And I'd use the James Patterson books, because I know we'd have TONS of them to use!:)

3T said...

Good suggestions so far - don't forget the computer books, those are out of date by the time they are published anyway. Encyclopedias and almanacs and record books, they will all need to be updated, as well as a lot of your 900's. All those R.L. Stine and Applegate paperbacks would make great starters, wouldn't they? Then anything I've been wanting to update but couldn't because "we have plenty of those". If I burn all my paperwork, does that mean I won't have to do reports for a while?

I haven't seen the movie, what do they actually start burning first?

Abby said...

Well, they have an argument over burning Nietzsche, but then they end up starting with tax law books. :)

The Crafty Children's Librarian said...

I would go for all the old reference books that still sit on my shelves. They are big and bulky and we have more updated materials via database. Burn Reference Burn!

Suzanne said...

Just as a bit of a protest, I would start with the reference books you aren't allowed to check out... they are also probably the thickest too! :D

Debbie's World of Books said...

I never thought of phone books but that makes sense. I would go for the tax law books, computer books, westerns, if I had time I would selectively weed.