By the numbers

I’m the kind of person who prefers crosswords to Sudoku, and, like many library folk, am thrilled to spend my day surrounded by words, words, words! I cannot help but be intrigued, however, by the number of, er, numbers we have floating around the building, in various collections.

Let’s take, for example, 2012. Depending on how you look at it, this year will bring either the end of civilization or a quantum change in consciousness. If you can’t buy either scenario, you can dream about 2112, or, conversely, cast your fancy backward to 1189

On the mathematical front, we’ve got pi, the pumped-up world of pre-algebra, and the fabulous Fibonacci numbers, to name but a few. You’ll also find practical math manuals, just in case you’re not ready for the calculus wars.  But when you are, we’ve got that covered, too.

The more I look around, the more numbers I see, and it’s both exciting and dizzying to uncover more and more of them everywhere I go. Of course, folks who write series fiction, like Janet Evanovich and James Patterson are easy to spot, but let’s not forget all those filmmakers who have favored us with countless sequels. And, of course, you have to give a shout out to the British monarchy, if you’re going to get an accurate count.

Although I will probably always feel more comfortable in the realm of language than in the multifaceted kingdom of numbers, it’s exciting to find them co-existing on the shelves, woven in and out of each other like music (which is, arguably, the perfect marriage of both). It’s enough to make a person skip around the stacks, singing a little song:

“We’ve got algorithms, we’ve got music,
Words and numbers, who could ask for anything more?”

Okay, maybe not. But will this wordsmith do her very best to make sure your numerical needs are being met? You can definitely count on that.

–Leigh Anne

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