Last week I tried to take a book out of the library below the chalk wall bench in the hipster lounge only to have a whole bunch of Silverfish fall out of the book. It seems we’ve got a pretty bad infestation in there - not surprising given it’s on the floor, against a wall containing water pipes, and a lot of the books were stacked 2 or even 3 rows deep so there’s no air circulation… Their perfect habitat combination. So this week I thought I’d try to make an effort to improve it! I’ve started by removing everything under the bench to air out & dry everything. Having books stacked multiple rows deep is a clear indicator we have too many books for there (no one’s gonna read a book they can’t see and don’t even know is in there).
(Enough books to keep Belle from Beauty & the Beast busy for a couple months)
I’ve done a very conservative cull of the ones that very obviously didn’t need to be kept (Jaycar stock magazines from 2013, multiple duplicate copies of PPE catalogues over a decade old, religious texts I suspect a random visitor must’ve snuck in there, books on website security coding best practices from 2000, etc). My personal opinion is that I think we can cull a lot more (and we’ll need to if we want to limit that bookshelf to one layer deep), as most of our members don’t come to HSBNE to read books, but I didn’t want to go any further without getting input from other members so I’m not the sole decider of what stays and what goes. Someone suggested we use some of the old Silicon Chip magazines as wallpaper around the space, which might be a neat use of them. Also, there’s some pretty cool old books in there that I never knew we had because they were in the hidden deeper layers - like this South African guide on radar installation & maintenance from the 60s!
(Atlas Aircraft Corporation - no “official” relation to Atlas from Bioshock, but I haven’t seen any denial either)
I strongly advise that anyone picking up any of these books take care to hold them away from you so Silverfish don’t fall on your clothing where they could hitch a ride home with you. I also strongly advise that no books from this area should be moved into any other area of the Hackerspace unless they are individually checked and cleared of Silverfish to prevent the infestation spreading. That includes just carrying one somewhere to show someone; they’re tricky little things that could fall out on your journey.
Just to repeat that: don’t move any of the books from the Hipster lounge to anywhere else in the Hackerspace unless you individually check and clear them of Silverfish one at a time.
If you feel like helping decide what stays and what goes, jump in! I won’t stop you cause I really don’t want to do it all alone.