The Browsery rummage sale

Remember my endless complaints about the slapdash, slipshod, haphazard Browsery at the Reference Library? It’s the highest-profile real estate in the Canadian public-library system, I correctly maintain, and it’s a mess.

It’s gotten worse. Now the two highest-profile shelves in that highest-profile location have been turned into rummage sales, with one crappy book piled atop another. (By explicit order, a librarian told me.)

Books on shelf piled face-up
Books on Best Bets shelf piled face-up

I am now at the point where I told a TPL manageress her defence of this nonsense is bullshit. It is.

  • The Browsery has too many Best Bets for the size of their display case. There is room left over inside the shelving units whose pristine tops the library refuses to use as display space. Either cull the collection (preferable; overflow books do not move) or shelve that overflow somewhere else.

  • The main display case, which still has no agreed-upon name, is unequivocally reserved for the newest and/or the most interesting and/or unique items of all descriptions. Old books people can look up for themselves. Seriously: The building is full of old crap and this display case is not to be used for whatever untrained staff feel like dumping there. Why is this not obvious?

The library has put a lot of effort at other branches – Cliffcrest, Gladstone – into developing face-out shelving, with good visual merchandising at the latter. Why the resistance here?

The Browsery is run by people with bad taste, no eye, no interest in customer experience, and, worst of all, no drive to improve. This issue needs to be taken out of their hands.