Loranne's Adventures in Librarying
Okay, the title of this post exaggerates a bit. I did not find 4,000 babies anywhere in the book stacks, much less in a book. My department did, however, find about 14 babies–babies that were cast in plaster and frequently deformed, like demonic, little Kewpie dolls.
They weren’t all so incomplete as the example above. Some of them had all four limbs. Some of them had no limbs. And one of them was just a decapitated head–we never recovered the body.
They started appearing during the Spring Quarter of 2009, scattered throughout the book stacks on seemingly random shelves. We found them all in about a week. One of them almost killed one of our staff with a deadly blow to the head when it toppled from a row of compact shelving (shelving that moves).
I ran into a friend of a friend who claimed to have a roommate who knew why the plaster babies existed, which was ostensibly that they were part of an art project. Now, I’ve seen some pretty conceptual art (and appreciated a fraction of it), but I can’t fathom what our artist(s) might be attempting to convey with these creeptastic creations. Unless their intent was just to give me the creeps. In which case: job somewhat done. I’m mostly just confused.
After that one crazy week at the end of the school year, we appeared to have outlasted the plaster onslaught. Until the spring of this year. The same week. The same pint-sized horrors, and in roughly the same quantity. And I now have no clues as to who the perpetrators are or why. I’m somewhat anxious to see if the same deformed figurines will make an appearance for a third year running. We’ll probably run out of storage space for them eventually.