Friday, July 15, 2005

The Collection Hour: Transported to Heaven

Our director proposed earlier in the week a Collection Hour. According to her instructions:

"From 2pm to 3pm this Friday, July 15th, you stop the normal course of work and do something to get to know our collection better. That could be reading a book, looking for books you want to check out, browsing part of the collection, reading magazine or journal articles, practicing with a database, practicing Web searching techniques, watching a video or DVD – anything that helps you learn more about our collection in the broad sense, including print and electronic formats. I think we have a great resource here, and we of all people should enjoy it!"

I tried to come up with something smart and very efficient. Maybe go through some of the resources on the web page and review the Gov.Docs. web sites we have available. But I have done some of that already. As for choosing a book to read, I have at least three on cue, and while I love reading, I wanted something different. Finally, I decided on some music. We have a small, but very nice music collection. I should know, since as Arts and Humanities Librarian, it is one of my duties to help develop it. I have been doing some major selecting to remedy certain areas, but that is a separate story. At any rate, one of the questions I often get at the Reference Desk are from students from the music appreciation classes. They come in looking for specific pieces of music, usually a composer or music from a particular time period. As I sat thinking what can I do for my hour, it came to me. I will choose some music and simply listen. This would allow me to enjoy a part of the collection, and it would likely give me an opportunity to listen to some of the things the students listen to.

We keep our A/V collection in the Technical Services area, so videos and CD's have to be searched in the catalog and retrieved for patrons. This is due to space restrictions. At any rate, I walked to the back and browsed through some of the CD's. I am currently listening to a set of CD's entitled A Festival of Gregorian Chants (Madacy Music Group, 1992). I feel like I am floating in a cloud as I listen to the ethereal voices of monks singing chants. There is a certain phantasmagoric quality to the music, and I can feel myself sway just a little as their voices carry the melodies that in medieval times were sung to worship. The collection is a four volume set with selections from various choirs, so I think it should give listeners a taste of the genre. This is music for closing your eyes and letting yourself be transported to someplace peaceful. So, readers, if you are a librarian, take an opportunity and find something nice in your collection to enjoy. Maybe go find books or music or videos you always meant to indulge, but keep putting on that to do list. It's time to check some of them off that list. It is your collection, you should enjoy as well as your patrons. And if you are a community member, just take the time to visit your local library. You never know what you may find. As for me, at least for now, I am going back to my little piece of heaven. Peace.

No comments: