Posting to Autocat
On Sun, Oct 16, 2011 at 5:29 PM, Hal Cain wrote:
As a veteran of some years of working a public library reader’s advisor desk, at a time when searching a catalogue was less flexible than it is now, I can assure you that providing answers to questions of the kind “Have you any novels about [person, situation]?” or “Have you any novels set in [place or period]?” consumed quite a number of hours for me and my colleagues. And that was in response to those (probably the minority) who came and asked — when moving round in the fiction shelves, I often asked people who looked a bit lost, “Are you looking for something in particular?” and one of the common answers was “A novel about …”.
“Lyman, a thirty-year-old orphan, is sipping coffee on the front steps of the trailer he calls home one morning, when a ninety-year-old parrot arrives with a beakful of cryptic sayings — such as “That which hath wings shall tell the matter” — and a mysterious past. Convinced that heeding the bird’s wisdom will lead him to answers about himself he so desperately seeks, Lyman combines his night job as a courtesy patrolman, circling the highway that loops around Fort Worth, with days in the library. Together with Fiona, the loquacious librarian, he traces his adopted pet’s origins, and while what Lyman ultimately discovers may not help him piece together his own past, it paves the way for a future he never imagined.”
And the subjects assigned are:
Police –Texas –Fort Worth –Fiction.
Fort Worth (Tex.) –Fiction.
What is the experience of most people on this list? Is somebody really going to look up “Parrots–Fiction” etc.? Also, is the genre heading correct, or is the cataloger drawing a conclusion that may, or may not, be correct?