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Simple adjustment saves Hold Shelf!

Simple adjustment saves Hold Shelf!

The Library has dropped the first letter from some patron’s last names. These patrons, whose last name formerly began with the letters M or S, are now in the first half of the alphabet (A – K). This change addressed a dangerous unbalance on the Hold Shelf where the number of patrons whose last name begins with a letter in the first half of the alphabet (A through K) were far outnumbered by those in the back half (L through Z). This uneven distribution of names caused an uneven distribution of the weight of the total books on the Holds Shelf. “You could see the Holds Shelf twisting. The whole thing was about to fall over,” said Principal Clerk David Richy. He said he has been at the library for a quarter century but has never seen so many Ss and Ms and so few As, Es, Hs and Is. Simply dropping the first letter of their last name restored balance.

Not all patrons had the letter drop. “We felt changing names like McClellan to cClellan would be just too confusing. Dropping the S in Smith wouldn’t solve the problem either as Miths are shelved on the same side of the Holds Shelf as Smiths,” Richy explained.

“We like to think we made the name change as painless as possible,” Richy said. The Library notified the DMV, the IRS, Village and Town Halls and the US Postal Service before telling the patrons of the change. “We did all the work for them,” Richy said. “Once we told them about the change, it was a fait accompli. They didn’t have to do a thing.”

“I’ll admit I was a little surprised at first” said library user Simon Arlow (formerly Marlow). “Notifying the proper authorities is all well and good, and I appreciate that. It saved me a world of work. I just wish they’d notified my Mum as well. She still doesn’t believe me when I say our names are different now.”

Arlow said old habits die hard. Forgetting that his name now begins with the letter A, he still walks around to the back side of the Holds Shelf to get his holds. “I think I’m losing my mind until I remember the letter drop. It just takes a little getting used to,” he sighed. “Still, I’m glad to help the Library in any way I can.”

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