Tuesday, May 25, 2010

From the Forgotten Tales of Conan the Librarian

A little private joke I threw together for the Nerd/Geek Pride Day they're having on Facebook. If you don't know who Conan the Librarian is: dude, get yourself to UHF!

The Illyrian warrior stepped warily into the cavernous antechamber, where a ghoulish pall already hung over the Borrowing Tab. Broadsword at her side, bejeweled dagger at the ready, she faced the first round of battle. Her face set in grim determination as she scrolled through the symbols and counted her foes, those items that were in the "New" and "Waiting for Process" statuses even though they were owned by her own library.

There was no way to know what kind of enemies she was dealing with, save testing them one by one. The sound of steel rang out in the Borrowing Queue as she hacked and slashed in a frenzy of bloodlust, copy and pasting, first in the Interlibrary Loan module, then in Circulation, piercing to the very heart of the matter: which items were available, which lost or missing in battle. With the panther-like speed of one seasoned in the arts of database war, she toggled to the Word document on which her text was saved.

Straining with every ounce of her enormous strength, she continued to copy and paste, and a red mist rose over her eyes as she furiously clicked the "Print" keys to generate mildly-phrased letters to say "We cannot order items through Interlibrary Loan that are owned by the library. You may place this item on hold." Then one by one, her foes laid defeated before her, she delivered the clean killing stroke of "Delete."

Wary of the time that had already passed, and how far into the cavernous reaches of the module she must traverse before the break of day, she wielded her highlighter swiftly, folded and stuffed the envelopes, and put them hurriedly aside. Later she must face the bloody jaws of the postal meter, which had driven many brave men into a screaming frenzy of insanity from which they had not returned.

But the time was not yet for that task, nor the others that lay before her: the Lending Requests, the OCLC Requests, the Incoming Mail, each weirder and more harrowing than the one before. She wiped the blood from her dagger against her strong thigh, and was about to pass into the next dim chamber when her eye was caught by a fleeting slither flickering in the queue, and she discovered a new foe, camouflaged in the shadows as "Locate in Progress."

She recognized Now That's What I Call Music 31. They had met before, in the crimson-soaked battlegrounds of CD labeling. This was also an item owned by the library, and not eligible for Interlibrary Loan. The warrior cursed beneath her breath. Could it be because the mystical sigils of the ISBN were not attached to the record? But no CD was destined to bear the mark of the ISBN tattooed upon its flesh...

Not only must this request be slain, but the fight would not be over even then. For she must yet face -- the Help Ticket of Doom!

1 comment:

ajnabi said...

ROTFLOL This is genius! :-D I'm totally taking this account along the next time I visit Spatula City to enliven my wait in line.