Did you ever have one of those books that you read when you were little, and bits and pieces have stuck with you, but you don’t remember enough about it to find it? I remember reading a book in 5th grade about this archeologist from the far future, that finds a motel from the 20th century and tries to figure out what all the things inside the hotel were used for (with disastrously hilarious results). I remembered that he said that the giant signs on the highways (advertising gas and restaurants) were something completely different. The book was illustrated with pencil or ink drawings, and that’s basically all I remembered of the book. After trying to find it myself several times with no luck I just assumed I would never find it, and it would remain a strange memory. Then one day I told my friend and fellow librarian Chris about it and she’s like, “Oh yeah. That must be Motel of the Mysteries by David Macaulay.” I typed it into the catalog and BAM! Yep, that was the book. It felt so good to have it in my hands and reread all the parts that made such an impact on my 11 year-old self. Lesson I learned that day: Librarians can find stuff. Rare stuff. Stuff you thought only still existed in your head.
Lesson you should take away from this: We like finding stuff. It’s one of the more exciting parts of our job, and it always feels good to watch as someone finds what she is looking for.