The Grimm Legacy, by Polly Shulman
There are all sorts of materials that can be checked out from a library. The most typical, of course, are books, but some libraries circulate items such as maps, art prints, even toys. Elizabeth’s new job is as a page at a very different type of library, The New York Circulating Material Repository. This library circulates objects. Some objects, like one of Lincoln’s hats or Marie Antoinette’s wigs, are particularly valuable. Others have little intrinsic value, but are no less important to have in the collection.
“Some of the more popular types of items we loan out these days include musical instruments, sports equipment, and specialized cooking tools. Many New Yorkers like to give the occasional fondue party, for example, but they don’t want to devote the cupboard space to a lot of fondue pots. Or if you’re thinking of learning to play the piccolo, you might want to borrow one to see how you like it. In the late nineteenth century, specialized silver services were very popular. In the 1970s, it was wood lathes.”
Now, the idea of such a library is so incredibly cool that it prompted me to immediately Google “New York Circulating Material Repository” just to be sure it wasn’t real. The realization that this library was fictitious was a blow, but the author had even more up her sleeve. My longing for this library to be real grew as Elizabeth began to uncover its secrets. In the Dungeon are sections with names such as the Grimm Collection, the Wells Bequest, the Gibson Chrestomathy, the Garden of Seasons, and the Lovecraft Corpus.
Elizabeth, being a fairy tale fan, is most interested in exploring the Grimm Collection. She learns that it contains objects related to the Grimm brother’s stories and that many of the objects are powerful, even dangerous, and as such are kept under lock and key. Her coworkers are hesitant to reveal any other details, however, as other library pages have recently disappeared, and Grimm objects are going missing as well. Elizabeth is still learning her way around this mysterious new job, and she doesn’t know who to trust, but the lure of working among genuine Grimm Collection items is too great a prospect to resist. Sounds like a dream job to this librarian!
Check the WRL catalog for The Grimm Legacy.