Although music CDs, like DVDs, have library of congress call numbers, our library has decided to go its own way and organize them all by label and catalog number. This system is not completely insane – if you’re feeling early musicky, for example, all the Harmonia Mundi CDs are in a little row. At the same time, it means that things are often not next to things that you would expect them to be next to, and since some of our stacks workers are not as supremely diligent about getting the reshelving right as they might be, it sometimes happens that you’re after a goddamn recording of a goddamn Strauss opera and it takes you like twenty minutes to find it because someone has decided to shelve a Decca CD in with the Sony ones. Just for kicks. Also, we have four copies of Anna Netrebko’s 2003 opera arias CD. I like the recording, don’t get me wrong, but four seems like overkill.
I was also given a license for larceny by the circ desk. They couldn’t figure out whether to desensitize the CDs or not when I checked them out, and I was told just not to worry about it if the alarm went off as I left the building. It did. But I was allowed to run free, because it was probably the CDs. I could have had ALL KINDS OF THINGS in my bag, you know? I didn’t, but that is not really the point, with alarm systems.
I also checked out one of Deborah Voigt’s recital recordings, ‘Obsessions’. It’s a mixture of Wagner and Strauss. I had one of those bizarre moments with technology with it on the way home – I wanted to listen to it right away, but of course it was a CD and not a set of digital files on my phone or iPod and I was feeling a bit stymied and then I remembered. Among other things, my car contains an optical disc drive attached to a sound system. It plays CDs. So I played the CD.