Today the Motivated Librarian is assisting pupils with research again. The charming intelligent children are grappling with alien concepts.
Motivated Librarian: So, how are you getting on?
Charming Intelligent Child: I can’t really find anything. What’s the guy’s name again?
ML: What have you got written down on your sheet? You’re looking for Finn McCool
CIC: Who’s he again?
ML: Well, he’s supposed to have been an Irish warrior, but there are lots of Scottish stories about him as well
CIC: But it says here that he was a giant
ML: Yup! Stories get changed about. Some stories say he’s the biggest and strongest fighter there’s ever been and some actually say he was a giant. Folklore does that.
CIC: So, what’s folklore?
ML: It’s the stories that people tell that get handed down from one generation to the next. A bit like legends.
The CIC sits up in horror and looks at the cover of his book, Scottish folklore
CIC: So this isn’t real?
ML: Um, no.
The CIC now turns to the label showing the book’s class number.
CIC: But this is non-fiction, isn’t it? I thought non-fiction was real?
ML: Actually, non-fiction books are information, remember? Not real, not facts, just information.
The CIC slumped back in his seat, and commented at length that his research into Scottish giants had now turned out to be a load of stories, before fixing the Motivated Librarian with a steely gaze.
CIC: So, if this is folklore and folklore are stories, why aren’t these books in the fiction section?
And the ML decided this was not the time to explain her classification policy regarding this particular volume, but instead suggested that she find the Charming Intelligent Child some alternative information for his research.
But as she moved on to the next table, she pondered why the pupils in her care insisted on the True/False, made-up/real definitions for Fiction and Non-fiction, and more importantly, how she could persuade them to accept alternatives that wouldn’t leave them confused about the realism of giants.