Friday, July 20, 2012

Organization Within The Library Of All Worlds

Sunday was my Father's Birthday. He loved books, so to honor him,this week, I am doing a series of posts about books, bookstores, and libraries in Everway.

The Library of All Worlds is "a collection of large building filled with scrolls holding knowledge and wisdom collected from a thousand spheres. Chamber Platinum is a group of people sponsored by the library who explore new realms and spheres. The Crookstaff and Scratch families have their head estates in this center" (Playing Guide, p.21). 

Another description states that: it is: "a vast library in the city of EVERWAY. It hosts the CHAMBER PLATINUM, a scholarly organization dedicated to exploring the SPHERES" (Spherewalker Sourcebook, p.64).

Images of the Bayt al-Hikma
Organization: The Library of All Worlds has countless books, scrolls, and maps. It has three primary organizational divisions, in addition to the Chamber Platinum. And there are numerous factions within these organizations. The primary organizations that make up the Library are Acquisitions, Collections, the House of Wisdom, and of course, the Chamber Platinum.* The role of these four organizations is as follows:

  • Acquisitions: is responsible for acquiring new texts and scrolls for the Library. Means of acquisition include purchase of texts, donations, copying, Reshelving (a statute that allows the Library to commandeer, for a period of up to one year, any privately held text within the walls of the City of Everway), as well as more aggressive and covert methods that are usually referred to as Field Work. Not all donations are accepted. Texts that are not needed are usually sold to the Book House, or to private dealers and bookhounds who approach Acquisitions seeking rejected texts. Acquisitions is also responsible for disposing of texts that Collections no longer wants or needs. 
    • Acquisitions is typically staffed by a mix of Scratch, Crookstaff, Crow, and Keeper family members. 
    • Acquisitions is led by Light Scratch, also known as the Red Scribe for her advocacy of aggressive Field Work in realms and spheres that are known or suspected to be at risk of implosion.
  • Collections is responsible for all day-to-day operations of the Library, including helping patrons search the Collections catalog, finding texts in the Vasty Stacks (and it should be noted that the  Vasty Stacks are a species of Tidal Pool), shelving of texts and scrolls, security of the Collections (including secret/closed collections and archives), arrangements for private study rooms, classrooms, and meeting rooms, overnight accommodations for visiting scholars, and more.  
    • The majority of staff in this department are members of the Scratch family. Security roles are led by members of the Crow and Keeper family. 
    • The Plume family guards The Stepwise, a room-sized artifact deep within the bowels of the Library. 
    • Collections is led by Heather Scratch, who has embarked on an ambitious new numerical reorganization of the collections. 
    • The reorganization is about 15% complete. A a traditionalist cataloging faction within Collections called the Elementalists is doing everything they can to sabotage the process, arguing that numerical cataloging is "unnatural".
  • The House of Wisdom has three components:
    • An academy for Everwayan youth, employing the best scholars and teachers in the city of Everway
    • A research faculty comprised of scholars in residence (mostly Everwayans) and visiting scholars from the million spheres
    • The Gem School, a relatively new association devoted to research and play of the  Jeweled Bead Game. This game uses polyhedral gems and stones with strange markings and symbols. The game can be played reflectively (to model the world, the spheres, politics, economies, etc.) or competitively, often with a gambling component. The Outsider Broken Wing introduced the Jeweled Bead Game to Everway. While the game has a small street following in Strangerside, almost all serious practitioners of the game spend their time playing in the Library precincts.
    • The House of Wisdom is led by Thousand Owls Crookstaff.
  • The Chamber Platinum, as described above, is a society of Spherewalkers who are scholars and adventurers. The Chamber is devoted to exploring the millions spheres, and commissions both exploratory expeditions and at times urgent problem-solving missions to other spheres. The Chamber has its own extensive collection of books, scrolls, and maps, including spherepaths. The Chamber Platinum also has an armory and relic vaults that are located within the Library, in the Chamber Tower levels directly below the Chamber Platinum's meeting rooms and dormitories.  
    • In the past, the Chamber has often partnered with Acquisitions. The current policies of the Red Scribe have made that collaboration more problematic.
    • The Chamber Platinum currently lacks a leader. In the interim, Hermes Branch Crookstaff of the Council is responsible for the Chamber.

The Librarian of All Worlds is responsible for leadership of the Library as a whole, and each of the organizations has a leader on the Library Committee that serves the Librarian of All Worlds. The Librarian position is traditionally elected by the Council and ratified by the King. 
  • The current Librarian is Thunder Perfect Mind Crookstaff.

*I am indebted to Sam Chupp for this organizational framework. It is very influenced by a Vampire LARP he GM'd at Simcon in the 1990s in Rochester, NY. The LARP was set in a Tremere library in the wilderness of Canada. My Tremere scholar challenged a demon to Certamen - and lost, gloriously.

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