I have been going around promoting one idea in two guises. The idea is for branches with subject-matter collections that are collecting dust to swap them out with branches where they would be in high demand.

  • The Reference Library Browsery DVD collection contains dozens of classic Hollywood movies from the early and mid-20th century. I’ve been flipping through these same titles, in almost the same order, for something like two years. They never move. The TRL Browsery audience is top-heavy with transients, students, and ESL learners, with a few inside-baseball types like me who mine it for items they can keep for three loan periods. The Browsery simply does not attract the seniors and near-seniors with a hunger for old movies.

    But Beaches does, and the previous branch head had complained to me that no matter what they do, they cannot request classic Hollywood movies from central processing. After sitting on the idea (for no good reason!) for ages, I finally filed a request via Answerline to simply send all those unused Browsery DVDs to Beaches. Answerline responded, but neither the Browsery nor the Beaches branch head has done so. (Actually, Elizabeth at TRL and I really need to talk in general.)

  • For manga books and anime DVDs, the situation is different. Some branches attract next to no interest (e.g., Beaches). At others, teens and other enthusiasts “devour” the entire collection and are left with no meat on the bones. But the same thing happens at other branches’ respective collections.

    The answer, then, is for branches to do a big swaperoo of each other’s manga and anime collections. This turns out not to be straightforward. And it’s a lot of work rejigging the owning branch in the database, applying and removing stickers on the items, and dicking around with RFID tags. Nonetheless, I hope a samizdat pilot project in this regard will get underway shortly.

I note that one of the subject-matter experts (there are at least two) shot down my theories that the library overbought anime DVDs and that the fans are so heavily divided into silos (Neon Genesis Evangelion fans will never watch Hikaru-no-go) that there’s no crossover. False in both cases, I’m told.

Also, Neon Genesis Evangelion has to be the strangest Japlish title ever. Doesn’t it take five or ten minutes just to enunciate the last word? And there sure were a lot of manga paperbacks suddenly added to mini–Bookmobile Two this week.

Kooky fun fact: Years ago I found two perfect Sailor Moon VHS tapes left out in somebody’s recycling. These are now living out their days on the bottom shelf of the video étagère at Jones if you want ’em.