I am doing a weekend shift today, and I’m going through some circulars (lists of materials) from the Library of Congress CAPSEA (Cooperative Acquisition Program on Southeast Asia). I came across the following item from the Philippines circular:
In the Philippines, people sometimes spell English words the way people actually pronounce them — a kind of localization of the word. Though it could also be a way of making conscious fun of the way people pronounce these words. So, in this case, lab = love. Because the rest of the title is in Tagalog, it makes me think that this is the case. The title could then be translated as:
Lab life: mga kwento at karanasan ng librarian =
Love life: stories and experiences of (the/a) librarian
However, if this book is indeed about librarians, it could just as well be that lab = lab, as in laboratory, and that the book is really a book about the regular experiences of a librarian. Though I wouldn’t mind reading about regular librarian stories, I have to say that I am more intrigued by the idea of this being about a librarian’s love life.
We all know about librarian fantasies, so it wouldn’t be that interesting if the book is about that. It is written by a man, so it is possible. But then again, I’m not sure what it would be about if it’s not about that. I mean, can one librarian’s love life fill a whole book? Wouldn’t a librarian’s love life be similar to other peoples’ and not really be his or her being a librarian? I am certainly curious as to what angle it would take.
But then again, maybe it is just about being a librarian. Whatever it is, this inquiring mind really wants to know!
Post script (written 10/7/2012): Well, it turns out that the title as it appeared on the circular had a typo. According to Joseph Marmol Yap, a librarian in the Philippines who just finished reading the book, it is supposed to be “Layb life: mga kwento at karanasan ng isang librarian,” not “Lab life…” In this case layb=lib, which is short for library. That makes much more sense. Joseph says that “the book is about different aspects of being a Filipino librarian. [It] tries to ask its readers…what type/kind of a librarian [they] are. [It] is a compilation of the “experiences” of the author in dealing with library users, applicants, staff and fellow librarians in the profession. His daily exposure to the profession :)” That’s not nearly as interesting as the idea of it being about a librarian’s love life, but Joseph seems to have really enjoyed it. There you go. Now, we know.