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Orne Library Primer

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  • Orne Library Primer

    This is a primer on the Orne library, and how to go about researching, and studying in it. For a personal touch, contact any of the student librarians in-game, but for the Do-it-yerselfers, this should suffice.

    Located directly east of the Men’s dorm, and southeast of the Women’s, the Orne Library is the primary location to find tomes on various subjects. (Books and the like that can be studied from to impart a skill level to a character are properly referred to as tomes, however, both terms will be used interchangeably here). The library is a large structure with all sorts of interesting nooks and crannies to explore, comprising a total of four floors: three floors above ground and a basement. As you explore the library, you'll note that shelves can be found on all four floors, and it is these shelves along with subject-specific rooms that will be the locations your character will go to search for books.
    (Note #1: The library uses non-standard -- at least for USians -- floor notation: basement, ground, first, second floor as opposed to basement, first, second, third.)

    Knowing where to go in the library can be somewhat tricky. The books are organized mostly according to the Dewey Decimal Classification system, but some accommodation is made for game usability purposes. Each shelf and room will have a placard located nearby listing its contents. Reading the placards is a good first step to figuring out where the subjects you are interested can be found.
    (Note #2: We're trying to follow as closely as possible Dewey's original system as proposed here. There's a wonderful index he included which I'm using to assign numbers and then locations to the books. Assuming you've figured out which classes correspond to which shelves, this index should lead you to the right location easily enough.

    The most important location in the library however, is the east end of the main hall. It is here that you will find a book return cart and likely any librarians, should they happen to be logged on. All tomes that are taken off the shelves should be returned there. Books left laying around on the shelves, tables or, heaven forbid, the floors will will eventually get re-shelved, but it is a much slower process. Books placed in the carts will get shelved much quicker and are available for other patrons to find that much sooner.

    Now you know where the books are to be found and you know where to put them when you're done. So let's go get a book to study. The first thing you'll notice when you look at (or examine) the shelves is that there doesn't seem to be any actual books you can take from them. The library has many, many books -- the shelves are burdened floor to ceiling with them -- and the exact one you want will take a while to find. To find the proper tome, you’ll have to use the @research command.

    Finding a tome is either incredibly easy or frustratingly difficult, depending on your perspective. The @research command is what you’ll use. Simply typing @research will give you a nice help menu that informs you that there are several methods of researching, including by subject, title, keyword, and author. Subject searches for tomes are based upon the skill that the tome teaches and you must know the exact skill name for any chance of success; title and author searches are based on the book's title and author respectively and can be left purposefully incomplete (e.g., Viavi instead of Viavi Hygiene if you can't spell hygiene); while the keyword search gives you a bit more freedom to search for books based on particular topics of interest (e.g., 'stars' or 'snakes' or 'spiders'). Once you've figured out what you want to look for, simply @research away. The @research-ing process will take some amount of time after which you may find a book matching your specification or not.

    On your first few trips to the library, expect frustration. Perhaps you don't know the exact skill name (microbiology and botany are not skills, biology is; try @skill for a list of your character's skills), or perhaps the keywords you are using are turning up no books. In this case, ask a librarian, or fellow student for help. You can also hang around the book return cart and see what people have dropped off. A third options is to look for real books. Many of the tomes in the library are virtual representations of actual books that existed in the period. There's absolutely nothing wrong with going to the Literature and Fine Arts shelf (ground floor, north stacks) and trying a search for Shakespeare or Edgar Allen Poe, you may get lucky. Learning what books the library has involves some exploration on your part, asking other players, asking librarians and paying attention to the periodic newsletter than the library publishes on the IC board. If no one else is around, one option for finding books is the card catalogs. The card catalogs directly north and south of the main desk contains a number of poorly sorted cards with cryptic references to texts that should exist in the library. You can search the catalog, simply by examine catalog.

    Some notes on searches.
    • The books are shelved by their subject matter, which may not always correspond to the skill it imparts. One example of this is Oscar Wilde's Portrait of Dorian Gray, a classic English novel. It clearly would be classified under Literature and Fine arts, despite the fact that it does not teach the Literature skill.
    • The above is particularly true for the specific rooms in the library. The Reference Room, for example, would house reference materials: encyclopedias, almanacs, etc. The tomes found in this room would be expected to teach a variety of subjects.
    • If a subject search keeps turning up the same book, and you want a different book, grab the first book and then research again. It'll take a while, but eventually the correct one should turn up. In these cases, a title search might be more appropriate.
    • @research takes a specified amount of time. It seems like forever, but I think it’s on the order of 5 minutes and can be modified by certain skills. Try not to leave the room you are in, or your @research session will time out quickly and you’ll have to restart it.
    • Just because a shelf is @research-able, doesn't mean we necessarily have tomes that are shelved there. For example, I am currently not aware that we have any oversized books for the Oversized Works room. Expect that shelf to be empty until someone submits such a book.
    Once you've found a book that looks worthwhile, it’s time to learn, and that involves studying...

    Tomes are different from other books. You don’t read them, or rather, you read them using the examine command. If you examine your tome (e.g., examine my small book), typically it will inform you of the number of chapters or sections the tome has. For reference, you can look at or examine the book as a whole, or specific parts including the cover, and title, as well as the various chapters or sections or poems or however the book is divided. Some books even have special introductions, illustrations, or frontispieces, which can be examined. Now that you know how many chapters your book has it’s simply a matter of examining each of them in turn. This will allow you to 'read' the book. However, to get maximum benefit from the tome, your character needs to @study it. This simulates the process of actually studying the book in depth, taking notes, and all the other things students do when they try to learn something. A person can only study for so long before running out of focus. In Lovecraft Country, you can @study approximately once every 20 hours (unless you actually level up a skill, in which case you can’t re-study that particular skill for about a week or so). To study your tome, simply @study with my small book (or my slim volume or whatever it is properly called). Studying a tome takes 25 minutes to complete, whereupon you will either level up the skill or need additional lessons. Regardless of your outcome, make sure you put your book in the book return cart.

    Some notes on studying:
    • You can check if you are ready to study by trying to study with an inanimate object. @study biology with floor will either tell you how much time you must wait until you can study again, or will inform you that the floor has no such skill, which means you're free to go to the library, grab a book and study away.
    • In general, the books in the library will not teach a skill to an incredibly high level. They are there primarily to get you started in a skill. Those books that do teach a skill to a high level probably will be very difficult to find and may even be locked up in the vault.
    • Expect to have to study a book many times before you level up, and as your skill level increases, expect the time it takes to level up to increase. If you're really interested in leveling up quickly, perhaps you need the personal touch of a tutor or a faculty member.
    Last edited by Oliver White; 06-03-2008, 10:59 AM.
    E's for the Evil that lures and entices;
    F is for Fear and its many devices;

  • #2
    The Orne Library is for the exclusive use of the Miskatonic University community, which includes all present students as well as all past graduates and faculty. Individuals who are not currently a member of the extended MU family can obtain a library card which allows them to access the library. A library card can be obtained by speaking with a librarian. Library cards can be revoked if they are abused.

    Just because one is allowed to use the library, does not mean one is guaranteed access. The library has a number of rules which must be followed. Individuals can be banned from the library for a period commensurate with the severity of the infraction. If you find yourself banned from the library, speak with the Head Student Librarian about what prompted it, and what you can do to get your access restored.
    E's for the Evil that lures and entices;
    F is for Fear and its many devices;


    • #4
      Originally posted by Oliver White View Post
      The Orne Library is for the exclusive use of the Miskatonic University community, which includes all present students as well as all past graduates and faculty.
      Oh really, this is nice to hear. I graduated a 2 years ago but library access would be very helpful right now.