Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Library Principles for Students, from the Old Testament

This was written by Jim Farrington, music librarian at Wesleyan (source: posted on MLA-L by the author) based on "Lamentations of the Father" by Ian Frazier. I found it today in my computer files while making a file transfer. Ah, such happy memories.
    Of the beasts of the field, and of the fishes of the sea, and of all foods that are acceptable in my sight you may eat, but not in the Library.

    Of the hoofed animals, broiled or ground into burgers, you may eat, but not in the Library.

    Of the cloven-hoofed animal, plain or with cheese, you may eat, but not in the Library.

    Of the cereal grains, of the corn and of the wheat and of the oats, and of all the cereals that are of bright color and unknown provenance you may eat, but not in the Library.

    Of the round pies of baked dough, topped variously and wondrously with goodness of the Earth, especially with extra garlic and double cheese, you may eat, but not in the Library, neither may you carry such therein.

    Of quiescently frozen dessert and of all frozen after-meal treats you may eat, but not in the Library.

    Of the juices and other beverages, you may drink, but not in the Library, unless it is that drink of two parts hydrogen and one of oxygen and only then should the mixture be held in a container of the prescribed shape and nature that miraculously do not spill even when
    up righted.

    Indeed, when you reach the place where the Library carpet begins, of any food or beverage there you may not eat, neither may you drink.

    Laws When at Table, in Carrel, or in Wingback And if you are seated in your comfy chair, keep your legs and feet below you as they were. Neither raise up your knees, nor place your feet upon the table, for that is an abomination to me. Yes, even though this might be something you would do in confines of your own domicile, your feet upon the table are an abomination, and worthy of rebuke.

    Draw not with your pens or pencils or other implements of writing upon the table or the books before you, even in pretend, for we do not do that; that is why. Yours shall not be the last eyes to gaze understandably upon the words so written, and they should be as fresh for your followers as for you and your antecedents.

    On Vocal Discourse

    Do not speak loudly with thy neighbor or study mate within the Library; for it is as if you scream all the time. If you find a troubling idea foisted upon your eyes between the bindings of a book, your voice rises up even to the ceiling, while you point to the offense with the finger of your right hand; but I say to you, scream not; only remonstrate gently with a knowing nod, that you may correct the fault of the author in your own essay.

    Likewise, if you find your mind wandering from the soulfulness of your studies, again I say, refrain from conversing with whoever be at hand so that others might not be so distracted.

    Play not the electronic gadgets fitted to your ears at such a volume as to cause others to march to your drum machine.

    Though the need will eventually arise that you must give in to your ignorance of a matter bibliographic and throw yourself prostrate to the all knowing ones behind the Great Oaken Desk in the Reference Center, wail not despairingly nor gnash the teeth loudly, for the sound carries great and far in that part of the Library, and then many of your peers will know of your misfortune; behold, I whisper myself, yet do not die.

    Various Other Laws, Statutes, and Ordinances

    Attempt not to repair broken word carriers with your own tape, for these are matters better left to our specialists.

    Forget not that to steal is one of the original sins, and you will be punished woefully, if not now then in the fullness of time.


Anonymous said...

Oh, I love it this was grand. I hope that you are not too cold. WE are getting to 20 and lower cold for us....

cindy kay said...

I enjoyed reading this interestingly written list of rules. I've heard that if you can make someone laugh, they are more likely to agree with you. (at least, I think that's what I heard.)

Thanks for sharing.