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My Sympathy is with the Prof.

Here’s a good one for the library stories file: a few years ago, a certain older faculty member, let’s call him Professor Tenured, asks the Director of the Libraries to explain about all this computer database stuff that the libraries are all on about these days. Now, the library Director knows that this is a fellow who is not computer-savvy; this is one of those types who have the department secretary print out emails and put them in the box, right? You know. Director does not think that she’s going to thunderbolt Prof. Tenured on the road to Damascus and suddenly he will use all the resources available to him. Still, this is a good guy, a good teacher and writer evidently, and fairly influential on the Third Floor, if you know what I mean. So she not only invites him to come in and get a virtual tour, but offers to make a house call and set him up at his own desk, with bookmarks and all. He accepts the latter offer, of course, and so off goes the Director to sit down with Professor Tenure and show him the proverbial.

This is one of those Professors who has an outer office and an inner office, you know? The inner sanctum being furnished with stacks and stacks of books covering every possible surface. Total stereotype, bless his hairpiece. Well, come in, come in, and I’ll just have to move some of these books here, and I’m very excited about learning all this, and you can see I’m old-fashioned, and let me just move these books, you see I don’t use the computer thing because I’ve covered it up with these books here, and just a minute, and um, I know there was a computer here…

It turns out that the CPU had been stolen. No way of knowing how long ago; not only had he not tried to turn it on in months, but he had assumed that it was behind some of the stacks of books somewhere, where it may well have been for some time before somebody lifted it. Computer gone, professor cry no more.

Professor Tenure is still teaching at the institution in question, and still teaching well, from what I hear. Came in to pick up some ILL books today. Ah, books.

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,