Libraries, language, literature–all love sequences, and after calling a number of patrons today on various reserve lists, and some who I had already called but neglected to remove from the lists (sorry about that), I have begun to develop a sort of Humanist string theory: in a nutshell, it begins with the premise that we are all far more influenced by the sequences in which we are placed than we realize. Imagine, if you will, a hypothetical patron named “Bob”. Bob joins a book group, but, naturally, waits until the last minute to attempt to acquire the book, at which point the only library at which he has any hope of finding the requisite discussion material is, of course, The Mercantile. Meanwhile “Roberta”, who has the item, has tossed it in the back seat of her Saab and parked said Saab in long-term parking while she goes on a cruise around Antarctica. Bob faces almost certain humiliation before his peers. He begs off the book group, and instead checks out a fat book by a best-selling author who decides to spend a year living exclusively out of dumpsters. This book, Bob decides, is utterly engrossing–so engrossing that he carelessly drips peanut butter between its pages. Little does Bob know that the splotch of peanut butter bears an uncanny resemblance to “Mary’s” dead husband “Bill”. Pressed to the brink by grief and an unfortunate reaction between prescription and nonprescription meds, “Mary” jumps to the psychotic conclusion that “Bill” is speaking to her from beyond the grave, with both comical and tragicomic results. And so you see, the strings that link our lives, though invisible, are actually quite real. -E. Scripsi.