Lois Leveen


May 10, 2012

File under:  Librarians—Partying—Texting—Non-fiction

Not-so-undercover exposé: Partying with librarians! Had drinks with a couple of librarians last night. Loose-lipped, I admitted I'd checked WorldCat earlier in the day to see what libraries already had my book.

"I'm in the Library of Congress!" I kvelled. Even though I, and the librarians, knew this was really not saying much. The LOC pretty much adds every book to its holdings. But still, it sounds so OFFICIAL. Like maybe what has John Boehner weeping this week is some touching scene I wrote.

The partying librarians, however, were all business. "What're your LOC subject headings?" one asked.

"I dunno," I said.

The librarians looked at me in shock, and then shouted in unison, "TEXT A LIBRARIAN!" Which it turns out is a nifty service in which you text message a question and somewhere a librarian toiling in darkest night researches the answer and texts you back. It's just like google but with that touch of civic pride that any library engagement involves.

So here, fresh off the text message, are the Subject Headings for *The Secrets of Mary Bowser*:

Bowser, Mary Elizabeth, ca. 1840- --Fiction.
Freedmen --Fiction.
Women spies --Fiction.
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865 --Secret service--Fiction.
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