Posts Tagged ‘Sacred Code’

Lost in Translation

After a long silence, the Merry Librarian is back in business! As a celebration of our grand re-opening, we are featuring a story from Fountain, CO as our Story of the Week. This one proves to be yet another example of patron expectations for a librarian’s abilities. As bizarre requests go, this one is definitely a strange need for information. And we’re just curious…why is it that when a patron needs something complicated and bizarre, they always want it within 24 hours? Just curious.

“Here’s a situation I ran into yesterday that I thought you might find amusing…it falls under the “librarians should know everything about everything” assumption that much of the general public seems to have. A man walked into our branch yesterday and asked me the following questions:

“If something were translated from English into Mayan hieroglyphics into Egyptian hieroglyphics, would someone from Iran who speaks Hebrew be able to understand it?”

Umm…I’m thinking not.

“Well, then, could you translate it for me so they could understand it?”

…Why yes, of course I happen to be fluent in ALL those languages. (I am a librarian, after all.)

“Well, do you have a book that translates Mayan hieroglyphics into Egyptian hieroglyphics into Hebrew?”

I’m thinking not…but I’ll check anyway just to appease you…Nope, just as I suspected. Nothing.

“Why don’t you have any books that do that?”

I don’t think there is a book anywhere that does that.

“Well, what can you do? I need it done tonight.”

…Luckily, I it was close to the end of my shift and I was able to pass this patron along to my unsuspecting coworkers…who had no idea what they were walking into and may not be very happy next time they see me…”

- “Julia” from Fountain, CO

Submit your story to us at: submit@merrylibraian.com

The Sacred Code

It is a little known fact, but librarians share in a Sacred Code. This Code is the ultimate standard of our kind: the torch we carry in the long, dark night of Librarianism. We hold it proudly, brandishing it with humility and absolute devotion. It is the Code that shapes our behavior and defines our very being.

This Code has been known by no outsider–until now.

“I declare myself a Librarian, and swear myself to this Sacred Code. I acknowledge that I am but a humble servant of society, and forfeit my identity and rights as an individual. I willingly lay down my right to personal space. I accept that I shall henceforth be a surrogate mother to all patrons: I shall clean up their messes, their puke, their children’s puke, and re-shelve all of their carelessly tossed books. I shall silently tolerate their screaming fits when they fail to read signs about Internet usage limits, fines, and behavioral expectations. I will cater to their every need: from, “Will you set up my email account for me?” to “I need help with my taxes,” to “I just can’t understand why my husband left me!” I will follow their children around, cleaning up trails of toys, chewed books, urine and bubblegum. I will assist the man who speaks only to my chest; I will converse with the woman whose breath is foul enough to kill kittens. I will smile when they scream, smile when curse, smile when they are demanding and irrational. I am a Librarian: I am all things to all people. By this Code I do swear.”

Despite the fact that this Code has never before been published for public perusal, the patrons of libraries far and wide seem to have a sixth sense for the Code, and willingly oblige librarians with constant opportunities to fulfill their pledge to it. The stories on this site are just a few examples of patron expectations…and of the Librarians of The Code.

Keep submitting your stories to us at: submit@merrylibrarian.com

As always, thanks for all the fish!

~The Merry Librarian

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