Wendy’s Grandma goes to the library

Last week my mother told me a disturbing story about my Grandmother and the library. Each week my mum takes my Grandma (now 89) to our Regional Council Library. She is highly indiscriminate in her choice of books. Just about anything will do and usually in the space of 10 minutes has an armful ready to go to the checkout desk. It’s about the same amount of time my mother has taken to fight her way into a position to be able to search through the DVDs. And then, they have to leave. Because with my grandma, there is no waiting….unless it’s for her.

I digress.

Anyway, last week my mother told me something particularly interesting. My Grandma decided that one of the books she had borrowed ( I know not which) was chock-a-block full of incorrect punctuation. Being an imperious ex-schoolteacher she decided that this simply would not do. So she got out her biro (yes that’s right her biro, not her pencil) and went right through the book correcting the punctuation. Her reasoning – if she didn’t do that then the next person to read might think that wrong was right.

It was during this discussion that I discovered something else very interesting about how many of the elderly library members use the library. They borrow a book, read it, and then before returning it they write their initials in the inside cover. That way, when they go back to borrow some more they can check if they have read their selections before…particularly if their memories are starting to fade a little. Apparently, my grandmother engages in this behaviour as well. While being quite an ingenious tactical scheme, I couldn’t help wondering what the librarians thought about all this scribbling in their collection. And, what else is going in within the library system that we don’t know about in terms of user behaviour?

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2 thoughts on “Wendy’s Grandma goes to the library

  1. Hi Wendy!
    My ex-school Principal dad who is still a few years younger than your Gran does the initials in the back of the book thing too, and says he does it for the same reason. I think the correcting is fairly common as I've read more than one library book with, shall we say, corrections done in a mature handwriting. I'd guess too, that it is being done by some well educated people as they are spot on in their corrections of grammar and spelling.

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