Las Vegas, NV -- Public Library -- July 20, 2007

I had the privilege of talking to a reference librarian for close to an hour. Thanks for your time! I hope you weren't too famished for your lunch.

Most popular books at the library, that he always has a list of holds for is put out by Triple Crown Publications—Gangsta by K'wan and Larceny, by Jason Poole. They're in a new genre, called "Urban" and there has been debate about how they should be shelved and categorized. Some people think they should be shelved separately. And, there's the question--what constitutes something as "urban"?

Their library is fortunate enough to be well funded. In 1991 a bond was passed where, for every $100,000 of property value of your home, you pay $20 in taxes for the library. It was the first thing he ever voted for and he, of course, voted yes. He’s been working for this district for five years.

The library has a large Spanish language section. The how-to books are popular. The other day someone came in for an air conditioning repair manual and wanted to buy it! (At 108 degrees that day I could understand!) How-to, he said, is more popular than, say, Ann Rice and Shakespeare.

Also talked to a brother and sister, high school students, whose favorite books are manga comics and a retired woman who, when she was in seventh grade, won an award for reading the most books of the girls in her class ...and took their pictures which, in retrospect, is not so good for preserving the sanctity of the library. To the librarian--sorry about that!

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