Cascade Library

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Name: Cascade Library
Date(s): March 16, 1999 to present (last updated: August 25, 2014)
Archivist: The Librarians
Type: gen
Fandom: The Sentinel
Cascade Library.png
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Cascade Library is a place to find links to gen stories for The Sentinel fandom. Cascade Library is not a traditional archive in that not all stories are hosted on site; many stories are hosted instead on outside websites, and therefore may be lost or unavailable.

Cascade Library caused a stir in gen TS fandom when it originally went live, as it was made parallel to Guide Posts, the main Sentinel gen archive at the time, and archived a somewhat different set of authors, originally selected by Cascade Library's archivists.[citation needed][1] This may be one reason why the CL archivists go by the anonymous nomicker "The Librarians", in contrast to Guideposts's "Elves."[2]

When Guideposts went down in 2004, the Cascade Library replaced them as the primary Sentinel gen archive.

Cascade Library has a recommendations section and it features author interviews taken between 1999 - 2002. The feature has been renewed in 2009 with several new interviews added. See Cascade Library Interview Series.

Excerpts from the FAQ

Question: How can I join the listserv/mailing list/discussion list for the Library?

Answer: First, the Library doesn't have a mailing list. The email address is just a contact addy for the Librarians for (mostly) archiving-related emails. If you want to keep up to date on what's posted, you'll have to visit the newarrivals page. Secondly, to contact other fans, please join a mailing list. I don't forward general inquiries to mailing lists. Visit the links page for some lists.

Question: There are stories here that have bad charaterization and/or bad spelling. Don't you have standards? Why don't you insist on everything being beta-read? Or at least spell-checked? Or why don't you do that yourself?

Answer: To answer the last question first, the Library is simply an archive -- we don't spellcheck or beta-read fic. There is a page with a list of beta-readers available for authors to peruse and ask for assistance. And a small spelling page with common errors. As for the rest, although it is preferred that authors have their stories beta-read or at least spell-checked, this is not something that can be mandated, at least not by CL. This is an author's choice. If I archived only the stories I thought were correct according to my view of the, this would be a mightily small archive. ~grin~

Question: You say you only archive "general" fanfic, but I see fanfic rated PG and R. What's up?

Answer: "General" refers to non-slash fic, not the rating of the fic. Please see defintions page for further information.

Question: Are you the Elves?

Answer: No. The Elves were the archivists at Guide Posts, the original TS gen archive. Not us. We're Librarians. Not Elves. We still get the occasional "old-timer" referring to us as "the Elves" no matter how clear we think we are about that. No, we're not them. And they (as I'm betting they would proclaim long and loud) ain't us. So just to be clear one last time, the answer is no.

Question: Guide Posts is gone! What happened to the stories listed there that aren't at the Library? Can you help me get them?

Answer: Yes, it's gone and with it any stories archived solely at GP. We don't have any of that fanfic stored anywhere. You have a few options. (1) Try asking around on various fanfic lists; some people download and keep fic on their computers and might be willing to share. (2) Try searching for "lost fic" (and possibly Guide Posts itself) using the Way Back Machine, an Internet Archive search engine. (old GP URL:

Question: Occasionally I visit my favorite authors' websites and find new stories there, but they haven't been announced at the Library, although they fit the guidelines. Why is that?

Answer: We can only archive what gets sent to us. If we're not informed, then it doesn't get listed. The Librarians themselves have visited sites, found new fic and read it, but have never received a request for archiving. And without just ain't happening. Maybe you, as a reader, should remind them to let us know. :-)

Question: Sometimes there is a story listed at the Library and then all of a sudden, it's gone. What happened?

Answer #1: Usually that means that a story has slipped by and been archived and it shouldn't have been, perhaps because it goes against one of our policies. There are a great many stories and many times, the Librarians don't have a chance to read through them all before posting. It is assumed that most authors have read what we will and will not take. However, sometimes they either haven't or don't know. In which case, a story may be reviewed and possibly removed; the author will be notified of this decision. This does not mean that the story was not good or that other stories by them will not be accepted.

Answer #2: Another possibility is that the author has removed the story from the 'net for her own reasons or for publication in a fanzine.

Question: I went to a website to read a Library-archived story and discovered that the author has other non-archived stories which are inappropriate for the Library (slash, discipline, NC-17, graphic sex, etc.). Why don't you do something about it?

Answer: When a story is archived at the Library, this means we have determined that the story fits within CL's guidelines for story submission (appropriate for a gen audience). The Library makes no claims about the appropriateness (or not) of any *non-archived* stories an author may have at her/his website, nor do we have control over what an author places on her/his website. A number of authors who have gen stories archived at the Library also have slash or NC-17 stories at their websites. This does not exclude their gen stories from being archived at the Library.

Question: Do you store all archived stories at the Library?

Answer: No, we do not. We only actually *store* stories here for authors who have no site and their stories are not being stored on someone else's page. If you have a site for your fanfic, we will link to it. If you have your stories stored here, then create a webpage of your own with your fanfic on it, we will simply link to your page and remove the stories from being *stored* at our site, but they will still be listed.

Question: What types of stories do you archive? What types don't you?

Answer: This information is on the site info page. But briefly, we are a gen archive for The Sentinel. We don't archive slash, pre-slash, or adult ("adult" refers to stories that include explicit male/female sex or anything graphic enough to qualify as NC-17) fanfic; we also don't archive discipline stories. See our guidelines for specifics on the site info page.

Question: Why do some stories have summaries and others do not?

Answer: Because some authors do not bother to submit summaries. At one point, the Librarians were willing to go retrieve them, but we no longer have the time or desire to do so. What the authors send is what will get posted. The only things that will changed will be occasional misspellings, minor typos, and perhaps some punctuation. We are tired of having to go hunt down miscellaneous information (summaries, URL's, etc.) for those few lazy authors. (Many kudos and continual thanks to all the authors who send us all the information we need! It is highly appreciated!) If they can't be bothered, then neither can we. Harsh, yes; but after continual and constant reminding, this is what it comes down to. If you want to know what we want to see in every story submission (for linking purposes), please see the submission directions. Personally, I'm a great deal less likely to read a story without a summary attached to it. [3]

What the Site Does NOT Archive

Explicit Sex

Because of some confusion, the Library staff has composed a brief, more specific policy on this topic. The Cascade Library is an archive only for general Sentinel fan fiction (meaning we do not archive "slash" or "non-slash adult" pieces). Essentially, we have chosen not to archive any story which could be rated slash or NC-17. Please note that by our definition, NC-17 includes any story containing graphic or explicit ("on-camera") descriptions of sexual encounters of ANY nature. [4]

The great majority of stories archived at the Library are perfectly within the established submission rules for our gen Sentinel archive. However, on rare occasions, a story initially archived at the Library may end up being removed (usually within the first few days of posting) because the librarians become aware that the story actually isn't within the submission rules. Whenever this happens, it is always unfortunate because it causes confusion and awkwardness for readers and the author as well as for us here at the Library.


Whenever a story ends up being removed at the Library, it is never done because a single person writes us and "complains" about a story. The Library NEVER removes stories solely based on a concerned reader's comments. We, the librarians, always review the story in question ourselves to determine whether or not it can remain at the Library. If a story does need to be removed, we will always notify the author and give her the reason why it had to be removed.


We at the Library always want our readers and authors to feel free to write us whenever they have a question about a story and whether or not it should be archived. But having lots of people emailing us and accusing us of not checking our facts before we remove a story is not only incorrect, it's not constructive. We always expect ourselves to check the facts before we take a story down, just like we expect authors and readers to be familiar with the submission rules. All the librarians put in a lot of personal time at the Library and take a lot of pride in maintaining an archive which is useful, up-to-date, and stays true to its mission, which is to provide a listing of Sentinel stories which is safe for gen audiences. Thank you to all of our readers and authors for helping us make the Library such a great place. [5]

Domestic Discipline

6/01 update: In keeping with the Library's mission to provide an archive appropriate for general audiences, the Library has chosen to no longer archive stories involving domestic discipline or corporal punishment. For the Library's purposes, domestic discipline/corporal punishment includes relationships involving physical punishment or discipline (spankings, etc.) between two adult characters. Stories falling into this category have been removed and their authors notified. [6]

Slash (Regardless of Rating), Pre-Slash

"***The Library archives general fanfiction -- this means no slash or pre-slash, regardless of rating.***" [7]

Bonding Scenes

Library Policy on Bonding Scenes posted June 21, 2003

In the past the Library has allowed for the posting of stories containing "bonding scenes," with the hope that the authors would respect Library standards that the stories be free of any material which might be construed as non-gen. Of late, however, there have been writers who have pushed the envelope, and more often than not the bonding fics submitted to CL for archiving/linking have contained questionable material. We had hoped that such incidences were isolated events, but we now detect a pattern of increasingly suggestive material which indicates to us that some authors are in need of clarification on what we are able to archive at CL.

While we at the Library certainly do not believe these occurrences are intentional attempts to circumvent the standards that we have established for our archive, we find ourselves in the unenviable position of having to review -- and alter -- our policy regarding such stories. This statement is intended to clarify what we are and are not able to accept in bonding scenes for stories archived at CL. In the future, CL will no longer archive or link to stories that contain bonding scenes which could be as viewed as homoerotic. This includes stories in which the characters remove key articles of clothing or physically "bond" in a manner that implies near-sexual content. Specific examples of this would include (but are not limited to) total nakedness of either/both characters, touching/physical contact over private areas of the body, sensations which could be construed as an orgasm, and mention of implied sexual attraction between characters of the same sex. Similar to the Library policy on adult story content, we are referring to scenes in which the bonding happens "on-camera" and is not simply referred to. As with our other archiving policies, while readers and authors may feel free to write us regarding questions, the Library staff will be responsible for the final interpretation and application of this policy.

Regarding stories archived previous to the posting of this policy statement, the Library does not have sufficient staff at this time to go through and review every single story for questionable content, so readers should not expect the Library to be immediately purged of any and all stories with questionable content. However, should the librarians become aware of an already-archived story with questionable content, we will attempt to review it and make a determination as to whether the story should be removed from our listing. The librarians hope this policy will not result in a barrage of emails from readers requesting us to review numerous stories, and we ask you to be patient and keep in mind that we can only do our best with the limited time and help we have. As always, should a story need to be removed, the author will be notified. The Library requirements for stories we can archive can be found by reading the Story Submission Rules. Authors, if you have questions about whether a scene or story is appropriate for the Library or need clarification on this policy, please feel free to contact us and we will be happy to review the story/scene or answer your questions. We want to thank all authors again for submitting stories to the Library in a responsible and appropriate manner and helping us maintain a great gen archive for The Sentinel fan fiction.

Robyn and the Library staff [8]

For other archive policies, see List of Content Banned by Archives.

Cascade Library's Response to the Closing of Guideposts

CL's response to GP's closure... posted January 7, 2002

In the wake of Guide Posts' closure, some readers have naturally been wondering where future Sentinel adult/NC-17 stories will be archived, since the Library does not currently archive those stories.

To avoid any confusion, I just wanted to clarify that the Library's archiving policy will remain the same as it always has, which is that we choose not to archive adult/NC-17 or domestic discipline stories. CL will not be creating a separate adult section or adult archive.

To those who do write and read non-slash NC-17 fiction, we direct to 852 Prospect, the Sentinel adult archive. Although the archive is predominantly slash, it also accepts non-slash adult stories per the rules in its FAQ. In fact, before Guide Posts had an adult section, these stories were archived at 852 Prospect.

If someone wants to create a new archive for non-slash adult fic, the Librarians certainly don't mind. Interestingly, the number of stories the Library has been unable to archive due to our NC-17 policy has been small -- 6 stories by authors archived at CL, about a dozen stories by one author not archived at CL, and 5 domestic discipline stories.

In any case, the Library plans to continue archiving gen Sentinel fic as it has for the past 2 1/2 years, as long as readers find the Library useful, as long as the writers keep writing, and as long as the Librarians aren't run over by Mack trucks. :-)

All of us at the Library send a heartfelt thanks to Kareila and the Elves for their years of hard work and wish them well in their new endeavors. We will miss our big sister, Guide Posts, very much.

Robyn and the CL staff [9]


  1. ^ Needs reference! I remember the conflict but can't find any online record of it.
  2. ^ "The Elves were the archivists at Guide Posts, the original TS gen archive. Not us. We're Librarians. Not Elves. We still get the occasional "old-timer" referring to us as "the Elves" no matter how clear we think we are about that. No, we're not them. And they (as I'm betting they would proclaim long and loud) ain't us." --from the Library FAQ (accessed 1/2009)
  3. ^ FAQ
  4. ^ Content
  5. ^ Removal of stories at CL and reminder re: NC-17, posted August 5, 2002
  6. ^ Content
  7. ^ Content
  8. ^ Library Policy on Bonding Scenes, Archived version
  9. ^ CL's response to GP's closure..., January 7, 2002