Between the Shelves is a showcase of Archive of the Odd stories outside of the main zine.
The following story is by the fantastic Dale W. Glaser. Dale W. Glaser is a lifelong collector, re-teller and occasional inventor of fantasy tales. He needs air, food, water and stories in order to survive, not necessarily in that order. His lifelong love of written words has manifested as a devotion to the English language almost exclusively, which is probably just as well because if he were to master any of the dead tongues that conceal ancient mysteries and invoke malevolent forces, we’d all be in trouble.
Note from the author: I was an English Major who held a part time job at the school’s music library, which was a single large room with one set of shelves for vinly LPs and another for bound music scores. Like many other creatives, though, I’ve long harbored a wish to visit a library so vast I could get lost in it. “Excerpts”, similar to a lot of my fiction output, is an exploration of the old chestnut “be careful what you wish for”.
Department of Library Philosophy
100 LEVEL COURSES
LP 101: Introduction to Library Philosophy (fall/spring)
Prerequisite: None (Required for all freshmen unless waived by advisor)
Students will learn the layout and unique organizational system of the Weyer Memorial Library, including which areas are open for general use and which rooms, stacks and alcoves are off-limits due to the value and rarity of contents, the unpredictable side effects of said contents, or the ongoing investigation into the disappearance of Deputy Chief Librarian Snyder. The course also covers several international and interdimensional classification and identification methodologies for tomes of eldritch secrets, and proper handling techniques for various ancient materials including papyrus, vellum, clay tablets, inscribed bronze amulets, and gibbering souls confined to glass spheres.
LP 121: Library First Aid (fall/spring)
Prerequisite: LP 101 or equivalent
Students will learn prevention and treatment of common physical maladies sometimes incurred among library patrons, including eye strain, papercuts, carpal tunnel syndrome and other repetitive strain injuries, particulate inhalation, third eye blurring, bone bruises, and dehydration and malnutrition due to spending more than 72 consecutive hours attempting to decipher long-dead languages. (Note: students interested in prevention and treatment of mental maladies associated with exposure to library materials, including delusions, hallucinations, and speaking in tongues should enroll in the cross-disciplinary PSY 211: Libraries, Mental Health, and You, offered through the Psychology Department.)
LP 141: Modern Research and Analysis Strategies (fall/spring)
Prerequisite: LP 101 or equivalent
Students will learn various techniques of source and citation validation to determine the authenticity of authorial claims, critical thinking approaches for separating authorial intent and perspective from verifiable fact, and identifying characteristics and overall trustworthiness of texts written in the early onset of madness, the deeper throes of madness, or from the other side of rational thought altogether.
200 LEVEL COURSES
All Library Philosophy courses at the 200 level and higher require LP 101. LP 121 is strongly recommended. Additional prerequisites as indicated.
LP 201: Introduction to Inventory Management (fall/spring)
Students will learn effective approaches to overseeing a library’s collection of assets, including periodic and systematic surveying of stacks and shelves to ascertain that all physical media are present or accounted for in checkout records. Secondary aspects of methodology, including never going into remote stacks alone, nor on the nights of planetary conjunctions, as Deputy Chief Librarian Snyder is suspected to have done, will also be covered.
LP 211: Basic Bookbinding and Repair (fall only)
Students will learn the tools and techniques necessary to prolong the lifespan of books as physical objects and maintain their readability, including page-stitching, cover-gluing and booklice mitigation, as well as methods for converting non-standard media into bound volumes suited to the library’s shelving system. All materials provided and covered by course fees.
*New for 2022-23* LP 221: Library Self-Defense (fall/spring)
Prerequisite: LP 121
Students will learn both time-tested and innovative strategies for escaping and surviving hazardous library situations such as shielding from energies, sacrificing body parts, and evading predators. Note: this year we are pleased to welcome guest lecturer Irulan Bokara, Chief Librarian and sole survivor of the Sinkhole of Six Thousand Ghouls, formerly known as the Asmodeus-Farleigh Library Annex.
LP 251: Introduction to Architectural Considerations (spring only)
Students will learn the fundamentals necessary for understanding a library as a building in physical space and not merely the abstract collective of books and other media, the unique structural and infrastructural demands of a large library, and the environmental impacts of various building sites and styles.
LP 299: Assistant Librarian Internship I (fall/spring)
Prerequisite: Four LP courses, completed or concurrent, including at least two 200-level or higher
Students may earn three credits by working four six-hour shifts per week in the library, assisting the staff with cataloging, re-shelving, cleaning, maintenance, and other duties as assigned. Unpaid.
300 LEVEL COURSES
LP 301: Bookkeeping for Keepers of Books (fall/spring)
Students will learn basic principles of accounting useful for overseeing and maintaining a functional library collection, including appreciation and depreciation of assets over time.
LP 311: Private Collection Assessment (fall only)
Students will learn appraisal methodology and provenance determination as applies to collections of books, scrolls and artifacts made available for purchase via auction, donated by Molitor alumni, or otherwise bequeathed to the university archives via blood oath, generational curse, geas or tynged, or spontaneous materialization in previously undiscovered stacks.
*New for 2022-23* LP 321: Library Search and Rescue (fall only)
Prerequisite: LP 221
Students will learn analysis strategies for determining whether an individual who has been reported missing and last seen in an occult library has become lost in the stacks, has been possessed by Murmux, the Archduke of Crawling Things, and taken shelter in air ducts, has been abducted and transported to an adjacent dimension, or has achieved forbidden transcendence and lost all ties to the mortal plane forever. In the first three sets of circumstances, students will learn cutting-edge techniques for locating, placating, and guiding the afflicted back to relative safety. Note: this course will also feature guest lecturer Irulan Bokara.
LP 331: Intermediate Bookbinding and Repair (fall only)
Prerequisite: LP 211
Students will learn the tools and techniques necessary to grant eternal life to books by binding a mortal soul or metaphysical incarnation to the physical objects, including spirit-stitching, anthropic aspect-gluing and pit fiend mitigation, as well as methods for converting the library’s shelving system to supplemental imprisonment configurations. Most materials are provided and covered by course fees, although students must independently obtain suitable sentient essence to be bound.
LP 341: Advanced Bookbinding and Repair (spring only)
Prerequisite: LP 331
Students will learn the tools and techniques necessary to anchor books to the objective, material world reality as physical objects and maintain their presence rather than allowing them to manifest as numinous timespace phenomena, including tangibility-stitching, existence-gluing, and nascent sub-universe mitigation. No materials needed, but students may be charged for any library collateral lost in collapsing portals and/or metavoids.
LP 351: Intermediate Architectural Considerations (spring only)
Prerequisite: LP 251
Students will investigate approaches for expanding the physical capacity of a library to better accommodate its growing collection, both in terms of traditional construction methods and spontaneous lifelike non-Euclidian growth of the building seemingly of its own accord. Special focus will be given to the nascent Goathorn Wing of Weyer Memorial Library, which bears some resemblance to Pre-Akkadian descriptions of portals to the Underbelly Dimension of Subsumed Shadows, found amongst the personal effects of Deputy Chief Librarian Snyder.
LP 399: Assistant Librarian Internship II (fall/spring)
Prerequisite: Seven LP courses, completed or concurrent, including at least two 300-level or higher
Students may earn three credits by working four six-hour shifts per week in the library, assisting the staff with translation work, restoration, inventorying, banishments and other duties as assigned. Unpaid, but moderate to high chance of being offered a permanent staff position, including new Chief Librarian, depending on outcomes of LP 499.
400 LEVEL COURSES
LP 401: Senior Seminar for Library Philosophy Majors
Prerequisite: LP department advisor approval
Students expecting to graduate with a degree in Library Philosophy will be given the opportunity to design their own library, incorporating elements from all LP courses including physical layout and construction, content acquisition, organizational and archiving systems, staffing, warding, and emergency failsafes. Students will be encouraged to work closely with Dean of Library Philosophy Zachariah Gwion throughout the semester and will present their plans to the full department at the end of the semester, with consideration for the annual award of the Atheneum Prize.
LP 411: Extralegal Acquisitions (fall only)
Prerequisite: LP 301 and 311
Students will be provided with rational frameworks and given the opportunity to debate the relative costs and benefits of obtaining volumes to add to a library collection via means other than transactional exchange and inheritance, including archeological expeditions, disaster recovery and salvage, and enduring the Astral Gauntlet of Uz’Baar.
*New for 2022-23* LP 421: Advanced Library Search and Rescue (spring only)
Prerequisite: LP 321
Intended as a direct follow-on to LP 321, in which students will learn advanced methods for entering and exiting hypothetically hostile adjacent dimensions, including combat techniques useful in circumventing spirituum obscura cursed with eternal servitude defending the boundaries of their benighted realm. Note: this course will also feature guest lecturer Irulan Bokara, assuming her survival of LP 321.
LP 431: Legal Liabilities (fall only)
Students will learn the differences in management approaches for private versus public collections, including design and implementation of policies which allow access to library materials while maintaining collection integrity and security, via a historical overview covering innovations in patron identification from thumbprints to a drop of blood to digital multi-factor authentication. Other topics covered will include the contours of laws governing penalties for knowingly sheltering dimensionally unstable metavoids and other contraband, failing to properly and fully neutralize an animating sentience, and allowing senior library staff to explore self-manifesting stacks alone.
LP 451: Advanced Architectural Considerations
Prerequisite: LP 251 and 351
Students will learn more esoteric aspects of library construction, from rare materials suitable for constructing Faraday cages to house volumes with dark auras, to physical security countermeasures for books and other artifacts capable of autonomous mobility. Students will also learn practical deconstruction and disposal methods for library rooms, wings or other features which spontaneously manifest despite not appearing on blueprints and never having entered library staff’s awareness previously, assuming no current or former library staff is currently restrained within said features.
LP 499: Assistant Librarian Internship III (fall/spring)
Prerequisite: Ten LP courses, completed or concurrent, including LP 321, 421 and at least two other 300-level or higher
Students may earn three credits by working four six-hour shifts per week in the library, assisting the staff with translation work, restoration, inventorying, banishments and other duties as assigned, very likely up to and including locating, accessing, and entering the Underbelly Dimension of Subsumed Shadows, to rescue or retrieve the corporeal remains of Deputy Chief Librarian Snyder. Paid only in glorious renown and eternal gratitude. Expedition to Underbelly Dimension offered in spring only.