Friday Fun: Cooking at the Library

Did you guys know that Julia Child is a YouTube star? Not quite on the order of Keyboard Cat, but nonetheless, you can watch the French Chef herself on YouTube. I know this because when I took Reference for my MLS at Simmons, we had to find videos of Julia Child for an assignment about online reference. It’s really not that hard. Here’s Julia making (misspelled in the title!) omelets.

Also, did you know that you can check out cookbooks at your local library? If you want some new holiday recipes, let’s say, but don’t feel like shelling out for a book you’ll only use a few times a year, or you live in a small apartment and don’t have room for more cookbooks, or you just want to try something new without committing, you can borrow a cookbook from the library! I searched my local public library catalog (the Merrimack Valley Library Consortium) and found more than 2,600 results with a keyword search for “cookbook” and more than 3,100 results with a subject search for “cookery.”

Why “cookery,” you ask? Because the Library of Congress is weird. The subject heading for what you and I would call “cooking” was “cookery” up until 2009 (warning: that link is to a PDF). It’s been changed, but these things take a while to filter down, and that’s maybe why you shouldn’t attempt a subject keyword search on your library’s online catalog unless you know the official subject heading you’re looking for–and who does? Instead you might try looking at the 641 section if your library uses Dewey (most American public libraries) or TX642-840 if they use Library of Congress Classification (most American academic libraries). You could also visit the Schlesinger Library at the Radcliffe Institute in Cambridge and look at their culinary collection, one of the best anywhere.


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