News from Goat Hill Private Library
Greetings, friends of Goat Hill Private Library. I would like to inform you of changes and matters of policy at the library.
First, due to our having to repeatedly chase down borrowed books, we have instituted a lending-discouraged policy. Recently we sent an overdue notice to a patron who has had a book since September. It was a book the library acquired in July, so the patron has had the book longer the library has had it. This patron was notified to return the book and was told his borrowing privileges are compromised.
Henceforth, only the library owner’s mother may borrow materials. All other friends of Goat Hill may use library material only on the premises. Friends may take materials outside but must be careful to not let the goat eat any books.
With that in mind, it’s necessary to remind patrons of a few book care rules.
1. Before handling any library material, patrons must wash hands using only Ivory, Tom’s of Maine, or Burt’s Bees soaps. The library provides these soaps, which are free of harmful chemicals and obnoxious cologne scents, and a donation jar is set out for patrons who wish to contribute to the soap fund.
2. Patrons may not eat while using library materials. Patrons may consume approved drinks while using certain materials — check with the librarian on what is approved. The library strongly discourages the obscene wastefulness of bottled water and any drink in a plastic container on environmental grounds and provides glass and china cups and mugs. Contrary to popular belief, the library doesn’t mind beer being spilled on certain items because the odor often complements the material on which the beer is spilled. Again, check with the librarian, but don’t purposely spill beer.
3. Patrons must practice proper handling of books to preserve the integrity of the covers and the spines. Patrons must open a book far enough to read but no further. Patrons should never, ever fold a paperback book cover over, and patrons should open a book minimally to avoid breaking the binding and bending the spine. Patrons must not place open books face down for the same reason. Patrons should never practice the infamous habit of using a book as a coaster and should check a surface to be sure it is clean and dry before setting a book down.
4. Patrons should remove and reshelve books with care. They should not pull on the top edge of the spine so that the edge becomes broken or frayed. When reshelving a book, be sure its pages are flat, not bent, and that the book is reshelved rightside-up.
5. Patrons are banned from using cell phones or other electronic devices in any manner whatsoever, including texting. Library staff frowns on electronic beeping, cell phone music and conversations with distant friends about where to eat.
Now that we’ve addressed these issues, following are March programs at the library, offered by our staff of grammar sticklers and book aficionados. Because our staff members like to sleep late and stay up late watching classic movies and reading, all classes are offered in the afternoon and evening.
* Proper care of books. Eutzly Conrad will explain the details of book care as covered in brief above. This class is a requirement for new patrons. 3 p.m. March 3.
* How to live without electronics. Angus Dundee will introduce patrons to the startling concepts of using a library that has no computers, spending a day with no television, and handling daily tasks without cell phones, electronic organizers, online reference resources and online map programs. 4 p.m. March 10.
* Introduction to real beer. Chesapeake Danaher will define real beer, explain why most mass-produced U.S. beers are not beer by definition, explain the need for pouring beer, and show attendees the true color of St. Patrick’s Day beer. (It’s not green.) Patrons may bring glasses and steins, which are also provided. 5 p.m. March 17.
* Proper English. Tristan Fitzgerald will teach some basic concepts of English grammar and usage. Points include Tristan’s campaign to eliminate “I’m like,” “currently,” “upcoming,” “actually,” and unnecessary prepositional clutter such as in “print out” from the English language. 7 p.m. March 24.
To register, write to the library on high-quality stationery using a fountain pen.
Until next month, adieu.
Curator, Goat Hill Private Library