Thursday, 15 July 2010

Crying Out For a Trained Professional

Hubby and I watched The Fellowship of the Ring again last night (definitely the best of the LOTR films, as the other two seem to get stuck in slo-mo hell every now and again) and I was struck by the way the Ring of Power (worthy of capital letters, methinks) got lost. And became myth. And then became legend. You get the idea.

When Gandalf comes across that ring at Bilbo's birthday bash, he's not sure what it is. So he goes off to Minas Tirith and, there in the cellars, he looks through a heap of unnumbered dusty scrolls until he finds a very accurate depiction of the Ring of Power and its horribleness.

The library obviously didn't have anybody in charge of it. It was a mess. It occurred to me - and I said this to Hubby before he shushed me - that it needed a properly trained librarian to bring order to chaos. And I bet if a librarian had been working there people never would have forgotten about the incredibly important ring in the first place. That librarian would have made a note of it somewhere and things that should not have been forgotten wouldn't have been.

Just saying.

Now, Terry Pratchett, he has the right idea. He's put a trained professional into his library in Ankh-Morpork university. Nobody point out it's an orangutan, okay?


Tim said...

I think every librarian and archivist under the sun winces at that scene. Naked flames and piles of dry paper? Shameful. Goodness knows we all have a cataloguing backlog, but shouldn't the personal papers of Isildur get special attention?

Dr Ian Hocking said...

OK, I've tried to leave a witty comment twice and it didn't work. Now I'm annoyed and I'm taking my wit with me. (It was a gag about Dublin Core, too.)

Aliya Whiteley said...

Deprived of a Dublin Core joke.... noooooooooooooo!