Friday, December 28, 2007

Matilda in Limbo

It's been at the Circulation Desk since last summer: a copy of Roald Dahl's Matilda-- one that isn't ours.

It isn't unusual for patrons to return a book to us that belongs at the Howe; many patrons have cards at both libraries. We also share patrons with the Marion Cross School library, and we have a place on the shelf for their strays as well. If we have someone headed in those directions, we drop them off ourselves. We otherwise call over and have the librarians check in with the appropriate patrons. Pretty simple.

But this one isn't simple, though I find myself moved to act. This copy of Matilda comes from a very special library,
Grandma's Library. In an elegant hand, a message on the flyleaf says, "This book belongs in Grandma's Library. Please bring it back! Thank you!"

It's easy to see how one of Grandma's copies could end up at NPL. Clearly, Grandma is a pro: the dust cover is protected by a the clear protective stuff that other libraries use. There's even a card in the back with due dates carefully stamped, and a little pocket with author and title. Best of all, she's chosen a child-friendly book filled with humor and delight.

Grandma forgot just one crucial thing: her name!

Her address and phone would be dandy, too. If there's one thing a librarian appreciates, it's another librarian, particularly one who shares her private collection as Grandma has been willing to do. We want this crucial volume returned to our respected colleague.

So I appeal to you, my readers (all 3 of you!): should you encounter this post and know the Grandma-Librarian of whom I write, please contact her or me. We are eager for Matilda and Grandma to experience the joyous reunion that we hope awaits them.