Sunday, 7 November 2010

Shelf-ish - School library

Just why is the maire standing in a room, talking to a gathering of people?
Well this was the recent official opening of the little library at the school where I work.
To get to it, you have to climb a rickety old wooden spiral staircase, through 2 doors and then you are in a small room with 3 bookcases, some rugs, cushions, a table and chairs and a small sofa. Not forgetting the large blue ball which lives on top of the non-fiction bookcase.
At 6pm we were all gathered together in the school canteen waiting for him to arrive. After 10 minutes there was a consulting of mobile phones to see if anyone had his mobile number. Luckily the teeny-weeny lady who cleans the maire and the school had his number. He was sure that the headmistress had told him to be there at 6.30pm. he would be there directly.
The assembled throng was not convinced by his story as the written invitations clearly said 6pm, and he had already been similarly late for a meeting the week before.
They are very proud of their library. Instead of all the books being scattered throughout the 5 classrooms, they are now gathered together in the one place. Oh, alright then, just for the anoraks.
Fiction is arranged a-z by first letter of the author's surname and the non-fiction clumped into broad dewey decimal system bands of 000's, 100's 200's etc.
Yes I know, I know. The systems were already in place before I got there. I have however put the fiction into A-Z order as it was just anywhere on the shelf before I got involved..

Speeches made, everybody set off downstairs, only the children having troubled the books on the shelves.
There were various cakes and eats on the tables and two bowls of planters punch.
There was coca-cola and orange juice for the non- drinkers.
I hope that the cleaner wasn’t driving, because she was really enjoying the punch, which was quite strong.
No one disgraced themselves. All the food which had been prepared by two of the teachers was eaten up.
The maire (mayor) is by far the most powerful person in any French community, so it does no harm at all to invite him along to things. Most, if not all school expenditure is controlled by the mayor and we may even get a decent bookcase for the non-fiction books as a result.
I am currently processing 69 new books for the library and we need something more safe and stable than we have at the moment. I don’t know where the big blue ball will move to though.......
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the mayor. What a nice man!

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