or, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Fear and Loathing at a Public Library Reference Desk



Library Clones Librarian

   April 1st, 2010

Facing another round a budget cuts for this coming fiscal year, my library had to lay off all of our reference staff, except for me.

However, in an effort to continue to meet patron need at the Reference Desk, the library is capitalizing on Massachusetts' strength in the biomedical technology industry by partnering with biotech firms to create librarian clones. The advantages are numerous:

  • multiplying the effect of a library degree
  • staff training is streamlined
  • communication within the department is excellent
  • we all share a single social security number so we also share a single salary
  • all of us are covered by a single benefits package
  • our wardrobe is interchangeable

This week was the first reference shift for the clones - here's a snapshot of the day:

Assistance of the Clones

If this cloning experiment works for the Reference Department, it may be expanded to additional departments during future budget cuts. We also might begin to selectively clone patrons, based on quality of questions, reading tastes, adherence to library policies, and how many pet peeves they commit.




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15 Responses to “Library Clones Librarian”

  1. Liz Says:

    Ha – thanks for starting off my morning with a giggle. I’m very impressed that all five of you were able to pose for a single photo, especially since the original you doesn’t much care for being photographed. Another advantage perhaps?

    Let me know when this tech goes public if you would please – I wouldn’t mind using this to take more classes and graduate earlier.

  2. Brian Herzog Says:

    @Liz: the original me was taking the picture, of course. The clones have no eye for photography.

  3. Liz Says:

    @Brian: Silly me – of course you were. Clones probably don’t have the self awareness to be shy and dislike being photographed. And dang – I missed one! The little you hiding near the bookshelves off to the right. He’s a sneaky little bugger.

    I had to double check and make sure I didn’t miss another (I don’t want any of you to feel left out or unloved). It’s like an Easter egg hunt, or a Where’s Waldo? picture. Maybe next time you can dress them all in red striped shirts and hats to make it easier on your patrons to find you all.

  4. Susan Babb Says:

    And only the original has to eat and sleep, right? Think of the possibilities of 24/7!

  5. Mary Jo Says:

    A witty response to a dreadful situation. Best wishes to you all…

  6. Alan Thibeault Says:

    Great photo. I assume that the Brian Herzog master copy took it.

  7. Brian Herzog Says:

    @Alan: Yep – and thanks.

    Also, just to be clear, my staff wasn’t actually laid off – just part of the joke, but almost too realistic to be funny.

  8. zognog Says:

    Hey with all these clones we could have a great game of paintball!!

  9. The Fat Lady Says:

    This is a library, so I can’t make this end.
    The clones will just have to go on and on.

  10. Anna Langefors Bräutigam Says:

    Hahaha, wonderful! I love it :-)

  11. Faced With Budget Cuts, Library Clones Librarian | ilibrarynews.com Says:

    […] (Read more on this exciting new development) […]

  12. Paul Says:

    Don’t clones have to eat too…who foots that bill. Don’t they need medical attention too. I guess the government will foot that bill now.

  13. Brian Herzog Says:

    @Paul: you know, I don’t know if clones need to eat or not. But if they do, I suppose we can just clone my lunch for them. As for medical attention, if one of the clones gets sick, we’ll just recycle it and make another.

  14. Winnie Says:

    Seriously, if someone were to clone me I’d leave one at home to do the housework. And I am jealous – your reference desk is as big as our whole work room.

  15. Liz Says:

    Your @Paul comment gave me nightmares about little yous running around trying to escape being “recycled.” D: