Librarian Ire

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Mad Cow Disease Runs Rampant in Libraries

Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, more commonly known as mad-cow disease, has been found in abundance at university libraries across the country. The infected were identified through a series of cognitive exercises developed by international BSE expert, Loki. "Developing valid and absolute diagnostic tools for this most hideous of diseases has been an all consuming undertaking for the last 10 years."

"Experience is essential in diagnosis." Loki says. "Many librarians new to the profession often mistake their initial BSE diagnosis as a mood swing or hormonal imbalance. Peers have even shown support for these misconceptions." While a mistaken diagnosis can not be ruled out, Loki informs us, a librarian's initial reactions are often a good indicator of BSE.

Loki first encountered BSE as a graduate student in a subject library. Her boss was prone to late arrivals, early departures, and long lunches. Mistakes were universally blamed on the students and any and all movements of discontent were squashed with talks about 'attitude'. "Anytime one is brought to task regarding their 'attitude' I guarantee you that BSE is involved." Loki says. Advanced BSE will manifest itself in employee terminations while more minor cases will involve ignorance of all previous disciplinary measures.

"There are a number of easy questions that if answered truthfully can lead to an accurate BSE diagnosis. For instance, does the person in question lack all forms of logic? Are they unfamiliar with the most basic of procedures in the department they head? Does polyester dominate their wardrobe? Do they blink? Do they repeatedly try to engage you in personal conversation even though you have been known to run away from them and to establish elaborate protocols in order to avoid them?" These are but a few of the many indicators of BSE infection. The entire series of exercises will be published in the upcoming library handbook Abandon all Hope, Logic has Left Us by Librarian Ire Press.

Loki first stumbled upon the key to successful BSE diagnosis in 2001 when having a conversation with 2 library co-workers. Loki questioned the possible carrier about their family history. What followed was a statement that irrefutably identified the person as BSE infected: "Many people think that I'm the way I am because my parents are first cousins. That's not true. It's genetics that made me this way."

This remarkable breakthrough proved to be the key to deciphering years of research. Those concerned with rendering an accurate diagnosis of BSE within their library staff should not be dissuaded by peers who may deny a case of BSE as over-reacting. Loki informs L.I., "If you feel strongly enough, and the evidence supports your claim, do not be afraid to proclaim someone is a mad cow!"

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