Every now and then when I'm working the children's desk I don't have the freedom to walk a patron to the book he/she is seeking.
Tonight I was on the phone when she came up looking for Moon Runner.
"That's by Marsden. The children's fiction is in alphabetical order by author along that wall. MARSDEN will be about three feet to the left of the corner, just there." And I point.
I kept helping the woman on the phone, who, weirdly, wanted to know which horse won the first and 6th races at Laurel Park. But I watched her walk over to exactly where I pointed.
After I hung up, she came back. "I didn't see it on the shelf. I didn't see any Marsdens."
I check the holdings in the catalog. There are 5 copies of the book supposedly on the shelf. "Huh. Let's go look."
Marsden comes after Macguire and before McDonald. There are the 5 copies, right where they are supposed to be, and I hand one to her.
IT'S THE ALPHABET, PEOPLE. LEARN IT. USE IT. THE ALPHABET WILL TAKE YOU FAR.