The Cookbook Christmas Tree: Inglewood Public Library, Blue Bird Circle Cookbook + The Joy of Cooking as Ornament

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Fri, Dec 9, 2011 at 8:40 AM
click to enlarge Christmas tree - INGLEWOOD PUBLIC LIBRARY
  • Inglewood Public Library
  • Christmas tree

Everyone gets into the Yuletide spirit differently. In the case of Bri Webber, a library assistant at the Inglewood Public Library, her version of decorating for the holidays did not involve jingle bells, shiny ornaments or boughs of holly. Instead she created a Christmas tree out of many volumes of something called the N.U.C.

What is the N.U.C.? (No, it's not Curly's laugh. That's spelled nyuk .) Before the computer age, librarians used the National Union Catalog, these impressively bound books issued by the Library of Congress to search for cataloguing records for new titles being added to library collections, so they could order those little cards that provided you with the correct call number and subject heading so you could check out, among other things, cookbooks.

Which leads us to Volume 11 of the N.U.C. If we pulled it out of the carefully stacked tree configuration (which wouldn't be a very nice thing to do because the whole thing would topple like a cruel game of Jenga) and flipped to page 93 we would find the 7th edition of the Bluebird Circle Cookbook, published in Houston, Texas in 1968, but when first released in 1957 was called Blue Bird Circle Recipes, Library of Congress number, TX715.B648 1968, 237 pages.

Does this sound like we're stretching to make this into a food post? Perhaps. But like the rest of the branches in our city, the Inglewood Public Library is staffed by good people who work so hard and are paid so little. We wanted them to know that they have our support.

Besides, books are food too, right? They're food for the brain.

click to enlarge Bri Webber and her Christmas tree - INGLEWOOD PUBLIC LIBRARY
  • Inglewood Public Library
  • Bri Webber and her Christmas tree

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