Thursday, January 11, 2007

Canadian Health Libraries Association

Fresh out of library school and for what surely was a too long quest for my first library job, after sending out, perhaps, three dozen resumes or more, with the pressures of still not working and my school loan soon coming due, I gladly took a job managing a store that sold remaindered books on Okeechobee Boulevard in West Palm Beach. Among the many unimportant facts that I discovered in my brief stint -- never work retail, especially management; remaindered books somehow still aren't cheap enough for some people; Florida's malls are overcrowded and over air conditioned; and, did I mention retail sucks? -- in our inventory I found a book of postcards that were made up of old pulp fiction novel covers. With bombastic titles, like The third sex or Good girl, bad girl, and racy, telling covers, the pulp fiction postcard book was a meretricious hit. A friend of mine visiting from home, a guy with a graphic arts background and an interest in things quirky, bought the book and created a tremendously creative beer bottle label out of one of the postcards.

Which is a lot of blather in an attempt to lead to my (probably pointless, likely uninteresting) discussion of the Canadian Health Libraries Association article cited in the title of this blog entry. A library-related article that I had just happened across, the article's enclosed graphic reminded me of my time in purgatory, which included not only managing a retail bookstore at a poor salary and inconvenient hours, but also living in Florida in general (Florida is unsuitably hot and too crowded for my tastes, among other reasons). The Hospital Librarian book review and explanation of the graphic are notable because the publishing company of the 1961 title, Harlequin Enterprises, has now allowed the CHLA to use the graphic for conference promotions and to be printed on t-shirts. Harlequin, it appears, is a publishing company that understands that little gestures such as the one allowed to the CHLA are valuable for their image, and that librarians should be kept happy by publishers.

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