Being short of funds and my internet connection dire (thanks, Plusnet), as well as my fondness for libraries and at heart being a Luddite, I’ve started getting DVDs and CDs (40p for a week’s hire!) from my local library. I’ve liked Gil Scott-Heron’s I’m New Here since it was released in 2010 and had been meaning to get the remixed version by Jamie xx, We’re New Here, for a while. I’d checked the catalogue online and sure enough, my local Southwark library had a copy. Popping into the library, I looked for it on the shelves but couldn’t find it. I went to the desk. The woman at the counter asked me the title.
We’re New Here.
She types in: where new here
I tell her, no, We’re New Here, there’s an apostrophe after the e.
She types in: where, new here
No, I exclaim, W, E, apostrophe, R, E. The apostrophe is after the first E! It's the abbreviation of we are.
She types in: we,renew here
An apostrophe I say, not a comma!
She types in: we’renew here
And a space after the second e, I calmly comment.
She spends about a minute looking for the apostrophe key.
It finally reads: we’re new here
Then she says:
We're New Here is not here.
It was returned to the Canada Water branch over a year ago and never returned to this branch.
I’ll call them for you.
Ok, I say, already knowing they’ve lost it.
She calls them.
It’s not there either.
The lost CD I already guessed at, the woman not requiring keyboard or English skills for a library job vaguely appalled me, but not hugely.
Previously in this library:
Previously on Barnflakes:
London through its libraries #1: Peckham
More Ex-Ex Elliott
Elliott School of Rock