Non-fiction to fiction: Where to put Armstrong's books?

Last updated 16:47 21/01/2013
Fairfax Australia

The Sydney librarian at the centre of a joke about Lance Armstrong that went viral will likely keep his job, despite an internal review into the matter.

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Lance Armstrong is not the only one who has found himself in a bit of a pickle lately. Spare a thought for poor librarians the world over.

The disgraced cyclist's own confession that his "inspirational" story is a lie has left many, including at least one staff member at Manly Library in Sydney, scratching their heads about whether Armstrong's books should be re-categorised in the fiction section.

A casual librarian placed a tongue-in-cheek sign in the library on Saturday saying that all of Armstrong's non-fiction books, including Lance Armstrong: Images of a Champion, The Lance Armstrong Performance Program and Lance Armstrong: The World's Greatest Champion, "will soon be moved to the fiction section".

The sign, which concludes with a smiley face, captured the attention of several book lovers who snapped photographs and posted them on Twitter.

They quickly caught the eye, and now the library's sign has featured on the websites of the Daily Mail in the UK, and USA Today.

Wendy Ford, Manly Library's community liaison librarian, said the sign was put up "as a bit of a joke" by a young university student who worked casual shifts at the library on weekends.

"This person just works a few hours on the weekend and he didn't have any authority to make a statement on behalf of the library," she said.

She said the library could not re-categorise Lance Armstrong's books without receiving instructions from Libraries Australia.

Library staff were stunned at the response, and the council is believed to have been inundated with phone calls about the sign.

The photograph has generated many smirks, judging by the reaction on social media.

"Congrats to Manly library...I laughed [out] loud," tweeted @davidbreen.

"Hell hath no fury like a librarian...Manly Library takes swift action against," wrote @SusanDWeiss.

The photograph also generated more than 100 comments on the social news and networking site Reddit.

Armstrong confessed to Oprah that he was a liar, bully and narcissist and accepted he should be punished for doping throughout his seven Tour de France victories.

But in what was billed as a tell-all confessional, Armstrong did not give information about who supported his doping, who he doped with, and who helped cover it up.

The US Anti-Doping Agency stripped Armstrong of his titles and banned the one-time hero from sanctioned sporting events for life in October.

- Sydney Morning Herald

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