Observe: MIT Libraries

This term, I became a student library worker in Hayden and the Library Storage Annex – making me a Hayden Maiden and part of the Annex Manics! Below are some compiled observations of my time there! Some are transcribed from Zephyr.

Cool Call Numbers (Library of Congress system):

  • GV1469 – Games and video games!
  • QA76.9.C66 – cyberculture  (which is amusingly surrounded by books about database structures and algorithms, as QA usually means “mathematics”)
  • P90 – new media overview
  • PN1988.3 – film studies
  • RC489.C – cognitive behavioral therapy
  • TX800-ish – food books, including the entire El Bulli catalog

Interesting Print Magazines:

  • Comics Journal – has lots of comics and does cool things with the medium, including printing upside down
  • Prairie Schooner – gorgeous bound literary journal


  • Hayden’s collection of oversized books is hilarious
  • You can apparently request maps and oversized books online which is riddiculously inconvenient


  • The libraries have a Slack and each one is named like “Hayden_Service_Desk” and it’s really amusing because everyone is just memeing anonymously
  • Hayden has a collection of Choose Your Own Adventure Books


  • Officially a Hayden Maiden! Manned front desk for the first time
  • If you are curious what librarians do behind the front desk, so far I have seen “Words with Friends” and reading Vox articles


  • I’m really amused that I get to see all sides of the Annex process – finding books from Hayden, getting them in LSA, scanning them, sending them back to Hayden and shelving them. The books I pulled this morning are definitely going to be my scanning work this afternoon
  • I learned how the call numbers for records work! The annex has records for classic stuff like the Beatles and also MIT specific stuff like the Logs in 1968
  • I got to scan a book chapter on borazine for W. and a journal paper about bolt threading for T.!


  • Found a sci-fi book that S. requested!
  • Shelving magazines made me realize how beautiful the print media is. I’ve never seen how large or thick or how much thought was put into the layout there was. I’m sad it’s a dying medium
  • I’m impressed that I could recognize an author that I had previously liked through my Link Anthology – Aimee Nezhukumatathil with her work “How to Make Halo-Halo Last Longer Than a Day” in Prairie Schooner.
  • There are journals called Bitch and Backpacker. Not sure what they’re about, but I feel like both would have interest in Tetazoo 😛
  • The news magazines all are trying to outcompete each other with political cartoons about Trump >_>”
  • The libraries were too efficient today so I ended up getting an hour of desk time lol.
  • Checked out my first patron today!


  • Scanned a lot of books for M. studying the media representation of AIDS
  • Scanning the first chapter of a mechanics book for someone reminded me a lot of what I learned in 2.001


  • In Hayden, one of the librarians picked up a computer shaped teapot off of Reuse. It was super quirky and apparently this was #25 of 2000 made according to the writing on the bottom.
  • Slow day at the Annex today – basically nothing to scan and nothing to shelve
  • The fifth floor of the Annex is honestly terrifying. It’s dark, the books are falling apart, everything looks like it’s in disarray and the books are in Dewey Decimal D:


  • Scanned 30 pages of statistics on New Zealand rabbit populations for EAPs
  • Scanned 50 pages of genetics of bee genealogies for a MechE (???)

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