Blinded by Black History

It's embarrassing when this happens. A young woman approached me this evening, wondering if we had a biography of Elizabeth Blackwell, the "first woman doctor". My patron was black, it's Black History Month, and all but one of our biographies of Elizabeth Blackwell were childrens' books. The one adult biography was checked out, and she needed something right away. I took her to Contemporary Black Biography, in the reference collection. Finding no profile there, my patron said, "But she wasn't black".

"So she was just the first woman doctor?", I said, (thinking, "Hey, Womens' History is next month!"). I explained my confusion. 99% of the requests I get at this time of year for people who were the "first (name profession)" are for Black History assignments. She was good-humored about my faux pas. I found a couple of titles at the State Library, down the street, that she could get tomorrow.

1600 lbs. of books

I finally got my 41 boxes of Baker & Taylor lease returns out of the workroom and down to the loading dock for pick-up. Took me two hours in batches of seven using the big flatbed truck. Goodbye, James Patterson, Sandra Brown, Dean Koontz, Stuart Woods, John Grisham. I actually enjoyed it. I don't often perform manual labor on the library dime, the kind that makes you sweat, and savor a cold Pepsi afterwards.

No comments: