Not everything in black and white makes sense

Stornoway library is a welcoming place, especially during the most recent cold nights.  A quiet place to come and study, read, think and maybe catch 40 winks.  This warmth extended to a different kind of user on Tuesday evening, who seemed to take a shine to the archive book rests.

Cat sitting on an archive bookrestWhile not our normal species of user, it’s pleasing to note:

  • the user washed its hands/paws so as to ensure the archives didn’t get dirty
  • the user appreciated the softness of the book rest that protects the spines of our more delicate volumes
  • the user waited patiently, appreciating that we have to go and the find the required materials in the stores
  • the user was quite happy to hug staff (this is not something we normally encourage)

However, on this occasion we had to refuse access to archive material as the user:

  • couldn’t fill out a user registration form
  • wouldn’t obey the rule about not leaning on the archives / book rests
  • wouldn’t trim their claws which were deemed a preservation risk around delicate paper

Sometimes, its just best to let a user be and then encourage them out of the building at closing time.

About David Powell

Project Manager and Archivist with Tasglann nan Eilean Siar
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