Hogwarts where there must have been some fearsome research librarians

At some point, push coming to shove, we all, well, at least, I revert to my core.  I take action is a way I recognize as my essential self.  So far, the work on next year’s travels has taken the form of writing to experts, explaining what I think I want, looking at websites and talking.  Last night, I followed a recommendation to CESSA, The Center on Secondary Education for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder.  Obviously, this is a promising site, the research page listed articles with alluring titles that held the promise of needed information and ideas.  

However, quickly an obstacle loomed.  The articles are not available without journal subscriptions and I don’t belong to any organization which might have subscriptions.  (Alas, I am not an academic!) And so, this morning I made my way downtown to the main library to see if they could do anything for me.  As it turns out, they can’t but the librarian suggested I try the UW library to see if I can get/pay for a library card and access.  That will be tomorrow’s task.

While at the library, I scanned the catalogue and explored the shelves around 371.9.  Ok, let that geek flag fly. Nothing is better than scanning library shelves.  I am a life time scanner.  In ninth grade, we were taught Library Science by the oldest woman in the world.  I don’t remember her name and I’d hate to find out now that she was 52 although I don’t think she was.  92? 81?  She was frail, bunned and wore tweedy suits.  The Dewey Decimal system was engraved on her soul and she taught it with enthusiasm.  Some of us thought she might have known Melvil Dewey.  She didn’t care, she took our teasing in stride.  I fell hard for Melvil and his system.  I already was a library hanger on, volunteering to shelve books at school and curling up after school in the stacks in my hometown library.  I was enthralled that those numbers actually meant something.  I still smile at the thought of that discovery.

And I love exploring library shelves.  After law school, research meant computers but I was never happier than when I when I was on a historical project and had stacks of old books and old bound newspapers all open on long library tables in a musty room at the Indiana State Library. And microfishe!  Today, I pulled 7 books off the shelf and found a carrel.–They have plugs in them now! Yes, it has been awhile since I studied in a library.–Two had nothing new to me but I began a bibliography, and then spend a few happy hours paging through another two books and making notes.  Yes, I was in my element.  And didn’t even know today was the day to begin this part of the work.  There is a needle-in-haystack quality about today and I kinda’ don’t care.  I am not a scholar or a historian or a researcher by trade or education, but by inclination.  Inclined to research.  Almost anything.

Tomorrow morning, I have a breakfast meeting with someone interested in traveling with us next year.  I don’t necessarily think that this is our travel companion/tutor but suddenly, and it is not sudden, there is a conversation to have and possibilities.  I have not been able to be sure that my grand travel plans could get this far.   Still, to me, this plan is so radical, so out of  most any box.  Maybe, maybe, maybe.

After weeks of being sad in the garden, this feels like a gift on that shiny tray.  And who knows, I might find the needle.

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