Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Hell for librarians

A former student who is now working on a master's degree at another school offered her user name and password so I could use their Web of Knowledge subscription. I was so tempted, but the little white librarian on my right shoulder reminded me of how unethical that would be. Sigh, I'm such a goodie-two-shoes.

I responded that I would be sent to librarian's hell if I did that. Then that made me wonder what librarian's hell would be like...

I've had nightmares of being smothered by catalogs or programming code, forced to drive snowmobiles down icy slopes to help a patron, library school professors towing tractors with a bicycle, being forced to go back to high school (usually naked) despite having my MLS, &#%@'ing-off my director in various ways, and lots of strange things about the professors I work with here.

Throw in some stuff like:
  • Standing in front of a class and getting halfway through it only to realize you thought it was intro to psych and it's really a 400-level class.
  • Realizing the professor didn't explain the assignment or the subject to them before sending them to you.
  • Having a practice search completely fail during the class your director is observing and not being able to save it.
  • Realizing as students are leaving your class that you needed another 15 minutes to finish (again while being observed).
  • Spending tons of time and some of the library's money on a program and then having no one show up.
  • Your first night handling things on your own and a student bursting out crying that she's neglecting her children because she's been studying so hard and she doesn't know how to do this research assignment that's due tomorrow.
  • Finding out a student is suing your school because of the reference service you provided.
These have all happened to me in reality. I'll just add the lawsuit quickly fell apart due to the fact it was ridiculous.

You could throw in some reference questions that disprove the theory that the only stupid question is the one unasked. These would include:
  • Can I highlight in an interlibrary loan book?
  • I don't know how to get to the third floor (from a man standing in front of the elevator).
  • Who do I talk to if I want to argue about being written up for licking a smoothie machine at my job here on campus?
  • Can you come down from your lunch break to unjam this copy machine?

So mix all this stuff up together with some visuals Hieronymus Bosch, and between reality and my nightmares, I think that about covers it!

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