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

Library Clones Librarian

   April 1st, 2010 Brian Herzog

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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