Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Getting Lost in the Literature Section: The Puzzle of the 820s

Have you ever found yourself on the top floor of the library desperately searching for a piece of literature you need for your English studies course?

What about that time you wanted to read Tim Winton's Cloudstreet but gave up when you couldn't find it on the shelves?

Why do the shelves go from 820 to 829? Why? My assignment's due in two days, stop tormenting me and just give me the book!

Considering that it's that time of year where everything is becoming increasingly stressful we thought we'd provide you with some peace and serenity by enlightening you about our confusing literature section.

The main thing you need to remember is that there is a little sign on the top floor near the lifts that most people overlook, it's not a particulary pretty sign, but it is an extremely useful sign as it lets everyone know that we've been weird and organised our literature section in the following order:

820 English literature
829  Old English literature (yes it's a big jump, just roll with it)
820A  Literature of Australia (What? Back to 820? Yes. Please note the 'A' it means this is a different 820)
820C  Literature of Canada
820F  Literature of Africa
820I  Literature of India
820M Literature of Malaysia
820NZ Literature of New Zealand
820P Literature of The Philippines
820PNG Literature of Papua New Guinea
820PO Literature of Polynesia
820SA Literature of South Africa
820SI Literature of Singapore
820T Literature of Thailand
820WI Literature of West Indies

So basically, if you read the sign you should be able to figure things out. As to why the library decided to torment you in this way, there was once a thing called the "British Empire" which colonised, invaded or controlled an awful lot of countries now referred to as "Commonwealth countries" so the library made the decision to place the literature of these countries as subsections of English literature. It's not fair, and it's very confusing but the alternative was much worse, so keep that little sign in mind and you should be able to find what you want without too many tears. Of course if you would like some help finding things you can always snag a passing Rover for help or  contact InfoHelp.

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