ASSOCIATES (vol. 5, no. 2, November 1998) - associates.ucr.edu

St. Jude Hotel Library

Clarenville, Newfoundland


by

Fay Hayward
Library Technician
Bermuda College Library - Paget, Bermuda
fh@bercol.bm

One of the nicest holidays Iíve ever taken was in June this year when I went on a Hanover Holidays tour to Newfoundland. It was awesome to see icebergs so close to land. We enjoyed unseasonably warm, sunny weather, with a short spell of fog thrown in for good measure. Probably, like most people who work in libraries, any vacation I take is made even more memorable when I come across an unusual book store or library. I was not to be disappointed on this occasion.

One of the tourís overnight stops was at the St. Jude Hotel in Clarenville, where there is an exquisite mini lending library in a little room near the hotelís front desk. This tiny library is tastefully decorated with mint-green walls, a floral wallpaper border, and light wood shelving. The room is small but well-proportioned and comfortable.

Being designed to make the most of the limited space, most of the wall space is taken up with shelves. Also, there is a small table and comfy chair where you can sit and read the latest issues of Time, National Geographic, Conservator, Chamber News (the newsletter of the local chamber of commerce), as well as other periodicals. The local ferry schedule is conveniently posted here as well.

Although the friendly front desk staff did not know whose idea it was to include a library in the design of the hotel, they seemed happy to discuss what they knew of its history. Originally the material wasnít arranged in any order. That is, until a visiting librarian from the U.K., who was dismayed by its lack of organization, spent his entire stay not visiting the local attractions but cataloguing the collection.

The books are now arranged by subject (and then numerically within each subject) such as: ART, BIO (Biography), BUS (Business), COO (Cookery), HEA (Health), SCI (Science), SPO (Sports), TRA (Travel), WOM (Womenís), FIC, and CHI (Childrenís). To round out the collection, there is also a selection of paperback romances.

Each book in the collection has a book pocket and book card. Guests can sign out material at the hotelís front desk. Signed book cards are filed with the guestís records until the book is returned. If you forget to return the book to the desk before checking out of the hotel, the housekeeping staff will simply return to the front desk any library material they find lying around.

An average of ten books a day circulate, and the library seems to be popular with the children who stay at the hotel.

For such a small collection, a lot of thought has gone into choosing the titles, the topics covered being current as well as interesting. I imagine that it is not all that uncommon to find a library within a hotel, but I wonder how many of them are as near perfect as the one at the one at St. Judeís Hotel, Clarenville, Newfoundland.

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