Friday, May 21, 2010

What is in books? And libraries?

Every week in the Good Weekend magazine that comes with the Saturday Sydney Morning Herald, there is a page/article called Favourite Things.  I haven't found it on the SMH website, so I can't give you a link.

Favourite Things features someone showing their three favourite things.  It's an intriguing way to get an insight into someone, and likewise the array of favourite things ranges from the sublime to the bizarre, with every possible byway in between.

Last weekend the subject was Chris McAuliffe, Director of the Ian Potter Museum of Art (in Victoria).  Among his favourite things, three wooden signs: "Easy Books", "Reference Only", "Adult Non-fiction".

Succumbing to the attractions of the second-hand, McAuliffe scopped these signs at a NSW garage sale.  Originally from Ballina Public Library, they help order the McAuliffe's country Victorian home, where thousands of books threated to overwhlem.  "My ideal abode would be a library with bathroom and kitchen attached," says McAuliffe.  "I counted all the books we had lying around recently and we had 250 books on the floor, on a table.  Anywhere you turn you've got an idea, an encounter, a voice.  Minimalist living doesn't appeal.  "If I go to someone's house, I will get on my hands and knees and go thruogh their record collection.  I prefer an overt display, an admission of interests.  That's what makes people intriguing."

My favourite part of this (apart from the library signs, which I covet):

Anywhere you turn you've got an idea, an encounter, a voice.

That's what's in books.  And in libraries, in various forms and formats.

It could be an interesting idea for a library display - defining someone/people by having three of their favourite things on display.  Maybe a competition?  Book Week idea?  General library promotion idea?  

tick tick tick goes the brain....



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