Ode to the BYU Library School
That Exists No More On the HBLL Fifth Floor,
But That Lives On in Our Cranium
In the Memory of our Brainium
And Shall Through the Ages
Be Enscribed on Virtual Pages
As High-Falutin’ Praises
In a Few Phrases
In a previous century now enshrouded in fog,
We were living a life that was most analog.
Those were years when we could get
Along without the Internet,
Those were years when a Facebook was just a photo album
And when a severe case of the Google could be alleviated with talcum.
Those were years when “Apple” was just a fruit,
And “the web” was a place where spiders commute.
A “digital revolution” meant your finger was turning,
And “blog” was what you said when your stomach was churning.
Those were years still engraved on stone calendars of the Mayans,
And so there was no “School of Information Science.”
No, no, we were going to be “professional librarians,”
Not cybernetic digital binary utilitarians.
We were going to learn about books made with paper,
Not electrons dispersed like vapor.
In that previous century now deemed old,
I was told
That if I wanted to be a “professional librarian,”
Then I should go to BYU Library School.
But because dyslexia can be so cruel
To the voices in my head,
When they said “professional librarian”
I thought they said “liberated proletarian,”
So I answered: “Sure, I’ll sign up for school.”
Not knowing exactly what I was doing,
But trusting the course that I was pursuing,
I found my MLS-mongering way
Like many of you that are here today,
To the BYU Emporium of Higher Library Learning
To wallow in words for which, apparently, I was yearning.
Let me list some professors by last name, alphabetically,
A system that reflects academia aesthetically:
From Marsha Broadway’s in-class dramatizations,
I learned the finer arts of reference negotiations.
On assignment for Maurice Marchant’s course on methodology
I wrote a research paper that I later published, possibly.
Victor Purdy had me assemble a detailed plan of collection development,
Which, under his guidance, became useful and relevant.
Under the tutelage of Dorothy Shields
I learned to classify access points in MARC record fields.
Nathan Smith’s class on biblio-psychology adjusted the way I think,
Saving me thousands of dollars I didn’t spend on a shrink.
Mediated-automated-Dialog-data searching set my head a’twirling,
For this was my intro into the digital world as seen by Keith Stirling.
Curtis Wright spoke eruditely of tension between Athens and Jerusalem,
And his philosophy of librarianship rang true, by gum.
You may have taken courses from Thayne Johnson or Hattie Knight;
As for me, the timing just wasn’t right.
You may have sat at the feet of Merle Lamson or Lucille Thorne,
As for me, I’m so young, that’s almost before I was born.
I hope your library school experiences were as memorable as mine:
I hope in later life you’ve plucked these memories from the vine,
Whether you became a “professional librarian”
Or have, like me, at last become a “liberated proletarian.”
By Dick Hacken