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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Friday, June 09, 2023

Some tips from the book maestro on how to use a library

With winter still doing all its wily winter things, you might be thinking of a way to expedite its termination and usher in a lovely spring season. Or you might be thinking of a way to skip it entirely. Sadly, as time travel is not possible yet (since all the trials centered on hitching monkeys to tachyons have ended in disaster thus far), you may be looking for some other way to make time pass more quickly.

I have a suggestion: how about reading a book? Nay, how about reading a free book?

Remember: You live in the modern world, and the modern world has libraries. Yes, reader: It has multiple(!) libraries(!) which are yours(?) to enjoy! But perhaps you are thinking to yourself: How shall I enjoy these libraries, since it never occurred to me to go read before?

Well look no further, because I’ve collated a few helpful hints for navigating your local library. With these tips in mind, you’re sure to make the most of your nearest library and walk away with a sweet book or two.

Browse the Stacks

On the surface, it may sound simple, but stacks are some of the most overlooked portions of the library. Or the most feared! Because, after all, a library stacks laden with tantalizing books is akin to a black hole; some foolhardy patrons have not been seen in the eons since they delved in, looking for a Thomas Hardy novel.

If you dive into the stacks, use the buddy system and bring at least ten meters of rope to tie yourself to a nearby pillar.

Ask a Librarian for Recommendations

Librarians are an underutilized resource when it comes to finding books. But be wary, traveler! For a librarian speaks in riddles, and they often travel in pairs: One speaks the truth, while the other speaks lies.

Avoid the Minotaur

This one is a no brainer. All you have to do is stay out of the labyrinth, even if all your friends are doing it.

Burn Offerings to Saint Jerome

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St. Jerome is the patron saint of librarians, translators, pursuers of exegetical endeavors and (most importantly here) libraries. It only makes sense that he would want something in return in exchange for all the space and knowledge. So burn him a little present! I’ve found shoes are a popular choice.

Get a Library Card

In order to obtain a library card, you must make a voyage to the island of Avalon and forge it from the timeless mists which encircle it, along with a piece of anointed yew bark and three ties of raspberry vine. When you have obtained the card, you must imbue it with the soul of a poet, which can be bought at your local wholesaler.

Want more tips on how to master your library navigation skills? Email Sean at or tweet him @Sean_Reichard.

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