Tuesday, September 02, 2014

where new here

Being short of funds and my internet connection dire (thanks, Plusnet), as well as my fondness for libraries and at heart being a Luddite, I’ve started getting DVDs and CDs (40p for a week’s hire!) from my local library. I’ve liked Gil Scott-Heron’s I’m New Here since it was released in 2010 and had been meaning to get the remixed version by Jamie xx, We’re New Here, for a while. I’d checked the catalogue online and sure enough, my local Southwark library had a copy. Popping into the library, I looked for it on the shelves but couldn’t find it. I went to the desk. The woman at the counter asked me the title.
We’re New Here.
She types in: where new here
I tell her, no, We’re New Here, there’s an apostrophe after the e.
She types in: where, new here
No, I exclaim, W, E, apostrophe, R, E. The apostrophe is after the first E! It's the abbreviation of we are.
She types in: we,renew here
An apostrophe I say, not a comma!
She types in: we’renew here
And a space after the second e, I calmly comment.
She spends about a minute looking for the apostrophe key.
It finally reads: we’re new here
Then she says:
We're New Here is not here.
It was returned to the Canada Water branch over a year ago and never returned to this branch.
I’ll call them for you.
Ok, I say, already knowing they’ve lost it.
She calls them.
It’s not there either.
It’s lost.
The lost CD I already guessed at, the woman not requiring keyboard or English skills for a library job vaguely appalled me, but not hugely.

Previously in this library:
Public Abuse

Previously on Barnflakes:
London through its libraries #1: Peckham
More Ex-Ex Elliott
Elliott School of Rock

2 comments :

Al 'Ex librarian's son' Warda said...

Were neu ghur?
Give the woman a break. It was probably her first day at work and she was feeling stressed at the public abuse she would have got from so many of those library users you know all about already. Stressed further by you breathing down her neck and your o-so-superior air of righteousness (I should know I'm exactly the same) when in your head you know exactly what you want and get short tempered when someone doesn't know.
Who the hell is Jamie xx anyways?

Barnaby said...

It's pretty basic stuff. The woman was in her forties, spoke perfect English. It was v bizarre. Maybe I wasn't clear enough; maybe she was frazzled. Maybe.

Jamie xx went to the same school as us and is a music producer and member of the band The xx, who I quite like.