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Many Hands, Many Talents

CareerBuilder.com puts an interesting spin on Labor Day with an article on all the unseen and behind-the-scenes people who make your day happen.  Let's make that specific to a library.

Let's say that you're browsing the library shelves and decide to check out the book Becoming Eichmann, a biography of the Nazi "administrator" and war criminal.  In this limited space it's impossible to mention everybody who has a major or minor role in making this come to pass. But here's a substantial list:

*the book's author.
*the project sponsor's personnel--in this case at "Legacy of the Holocaust."
*the funding agency's personnel--in this case at the Arts & Humanities Research Board.
*the scholars whom the author approached to comment on his draft text.
*the publisher's many functionaries--editors, proofreaders, indexers, artists, designers, etc.
*the paper industry workers--loggers, mill workers, etc.
*the ink manufacturer's and supplier's personnel.
*the book compositor's personnel--typesetters, scanners, etc.
*the printers (and of course those involved in manufacturing the printing machinery).
*the bindery staff (and those responsible for their glue and other supplies).
*transportation of machinery, components, etc.--and of the book copies themselves.
*the petroleum industry and auto workers, tire makers, etc. who enabled the transportation.
*the warehouse operatives to store and ship the finished copies.
*the various functionaries of the vendor/distributor who specializes in books for libraries.
*The Library's book selection and acquisition personnel.
*The Library's technical workers who ready books for the shelves.
*The Library's pages who retrieve, move, and shelve materials.
*The Library's computer services workers who maintain patron and material records.
*The Library's circulation staff who check out the book to you.

And this far-from-complete list should include the support staff at each point along the way--janitors, maintenance workers, cafeteria staff, the people who make and supply necessary furniture, utility workers, clerks, etc.  So much so that a great part of our interconnected culture and economy is involved in that book in your hand.


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