It took a while, but on Thursday I finally got my hands on that book I’ve been waiting for. It all began with a simple Google search that went nowhere, a month later and I finally figured it out.After Google failed me so profoundly, I spent a while trying to find a book that would help. Salvation finally came from a librarian at the University of Western Ontario. Sure, they had a book that could help me out but its status in the catalogue was a little mysterious – in storage.
I was a student at Western for four years, and I couldn’t recall ever having looked for a book that was in storage. The online catalogue told me I had to request such a book, so I tried, I failed though, because I’m not a student anymore. I emailed Weldon library with the book’s call number, title and author and asked for help. The librarian was very nice, said no problem, he would put the request in and they would email me when the book arrived from the mysterious world of off-site storage.
Three weeks went by.
Obsessively checking your email is all well and good, but I was still bookless. I called Weldon. The librarian was very nice, looked everything up and informed me that the book had arrived from storage, I had been emailed, they held it at the counter for four days, never heard from me, so sent it back to storage. So, so sad.
I cried a little on the inside, then went through my emails, but could not find the elusive note, not even in spam. One of us had clearly dropped the ball. Evan, the librarian, helpfully put the request in a second time and said it would take no more than four days for the book to make a second journey from storage.
Then, magically, I got an email from Weldon saying it had arrived and they would hold it at the circulation desk for four days. Evan even sent me an email from his personal account so that I wouldn’t miss it this time. Yay, right? Not exactly. Last weekend was a long weekend in Ontario, so the library was closed for three days. This week was also reading week at Western, so the library had reduced hours, hours that fit perfectly into the hours I spend at work. Again, so, so sad. I called Evan, again, apologized for being such a pain, and asked him to hold the book until Thursday, which was the first day I could make it to Weldon’s reduced hours. He said no problem. He is that nice.
Thursday morning, I flew (drove) up to Western and ran (walked, swearing in the cold) to Weldon. Got the book, right? No. I had to set up an alumni account first. I did this, with a very kind Hungarian librarian and we had an interesting conversation about the ethnic roots of my last name. Then, finally, a month after I went after the book in the first place, she went over to the hold shelf and put the book in my hands. They even let me take it out for two weeks. This is the elusive little sucker:
I reference some demonic names in my manuscript. Not a popular, easily accessible topic, apparently. Now I know!
I spent the day up at the library with the book, the quiet and lack of household distractions cannot be emphasized enough. If you haven’t spent a day in a library in a while, I highly recommend it. I read through the introduction and started researching the names that I use in my manuscript. Thankfully, Fred Gettings did all the work I couldn’t do, and centralized all of the weird, patchy sources and information available on the subject. My only problem now is I have to find a copy to buy. I really, really want to highlight…but, I do have two weeks to spend with it, and so far it appears to be worth the wait.