Archive for the ‘April Fools’ Category

April 2021 – Volume 15 – Number 2

From the Executive Director – Due to COVID, HSHSL Needs Additional Space

M.J. Tooey
M.J. Tooey, executive director

While I am aware FY22 will be a fiscally challenging year for UMB — for COVID-19 related reasons during these unprecedented times — I intend to petition UMB Administration during the FY22 budget process for emergency funding to add an additional two floors to the HSHSL.

True, for more than a year access to the HSHSL building and collections has been limited. And granted, we plan to discard a ginormous number of bound journals, now redundant since we purchased the digital journal backfiles. Yet even as we acknowledge these facts, we must also listen to the science: And the science says individual items in the collection need to be physically distant. While individual books and journals will not require a full 6-feet of distancing, the volumes will need to be laid flat on the shelves rather than standing up.

To meet this requirement, we calculate we will need an additional 18 miles of shelving—double the amount of currently available in the HSHSL. Should this immediate need be left unfunded, we will be forced to move to Plan B—distributing the collection across UMB as a number of smaller, subject-oriented collections. Such an arrangement would be reminiscent of the Library’s early days, back in the 1800’s, before the collections were gathered together to create one Library. And let’s face it, in these days of interprofessional education, it will be a real pain. Which school will get what? How will others access it?

We plan to hold an “Adopt a Collection” fundraiser and auction off segments of the collection to the highest bidders. Then we will have to figure out what goes where and institute a system of runners to retrieve and deliver materials to users. While delays are likely, if not inevitable, our users’ safety is our first priority.

Executive Director Appears on Wheel of Fortune!

Wheel of Fortune

On February 29, 2021, M.J. Tooey, associate vice president of Academic Affairs and HSHSL executive director, appeared on the popular game show, Wheel of Fortune in an unsuccessful attempt to buy a vowel to insert in the HSHSL name acronym. “For years, we have yearned to have a library name with a few vowels to make it pronounceable,” said Tooey. She continued “The current name is unpronounceable and if you try, you sound like Nagini, Voldemort’s snake. And if you say H-S-H-S-L, by the time you get it out, people have lost interest. Sigh, maybe next year.”

BREAKING NEWS! HSHSL Receives Anonymous Seven Figure Gift to Name Library


In an astounding, unprecedented turn of events, the HSHSL, with no fund-raising expertise or support, has managed to land an anonymous seven-figure gift to name the Health Sciences and Human Services Library. While executive director M.J. Tooey knows who the donor is, she is not allowed to disclose the benefactor’s identity at this time. “I have no idea how this happened! There is no fundraising professional in the library. We are not a UMB priority area. We don’t have a case statement or collateral materials. We haven’t been cultivating anyone. And we have never met the person. Why us?” she mused. “And it is an unrestricted gift – Yowza! We can use it for whatever we want. First, the entire HSHSL staff is going to Disney World.” While Tooey cannot divulge the donor’s name, she did coyly mention that the library will henceforth be called the Amazon Library. Plans to redecorate the former HSHSL in a jungle theme are underway. “And the best thing is, I don’t have to go back on Wheel of Fortune in order to buy a vowel!” said Tooey.

Plaza Pillar Acquires New Inscription

Photo of HSHSL Pillar

New Concierge Service in Study Rooms

Library Carpentry

As the HSHSL staff plans for life after COVID-19, a new Study Room Concierge Service will be implemented. “We are concerned students won’t find their way back to the library building when we fully reopen,” said Everly Brown, Head of Information Services. “We held a series of unprecedented brainstorming sessions and sent out surveys to our user community to find out what was really needed.”

Beginning fall semester 2021, when you reserve a study room in advance, the study room will be cleaned and sanitized, and a “clean seal” white paper strip will be placed across the doorway. Once you place your reservation, you will receive a buzzer, similar to those at restaurants, to alert you when your study room is ready. We will also text you a snack menu so we can be sure to have steaming hot coffee or the beverage of your choice waiting for you in the room, along with a healthy snack.

“It’s all about the experience,” Brown said. “Starbucks proved that!”

HSHSL Staff To Perform “Rapunzel, The Musical”

Photo of hair cascading down the side of the HSHSL tower

Have you seen the long, golden locks coming from fifth floor of the HSHSL Tower this week? The hair is in preparation for the HSHSL’s first theatrical performance, “Rapunzel, The Musical,” directed by M.J. Tooey, with choreography by former Hairspray dancer Brad Gerhart, and musical direction by Anna-Marie Epps. The HSHSL staff will perform the musical in front of the Library later this month.

“We wanted to produce a musical that spoke to our feelings of captivity over the past year. The golden locks represent the vaccines that will free us from that captivity,” said Tooey. “The production will have the yearning for freedom of Les Miserables, the unmovable tenderness of Cats, and the zany craziness of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. It will be a musical for our time!”

HSHSL Adopts Colorful Cataloging System

Photo of a row of books organized by color
Photo by Martin Adams on Unsplash.

Finding students lost in the stacks looking for a book will now be a thing of the past. Inspired by Pinterest and Instagram, the HSHSL has moved away from hard to read call numbers and will now shelve books by color. When you need to find that red book, simply walk over to the red section. Librarian Everly Brown enthused, “It’s practical and beautiful – like a rainbow of books.”

Library Attacked!

Photo of Godzilla attacking the HSHSL

HSHSL staff members succeeded in fending off a raging Godzilla who had emerged from the waters of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. After rampaging through downtown and cutting a swath of destruction down Pratt Street, Godzilla leapt to the Library’s roof and blasted the building with fire. A brigade of quick-thinking staff members rushed to the roof with water buckets and fire extinguishers, dousing the flames and telling Godzilla to settle down and “mask up” (in compliance with UMB COVID-19 guidelines). The sheepish ‘Zilla put on his mask, slunk back to the harbor, and swam away, effectively chastened by a librarian “Shush!”

Escalator to Replace Grand Staircase

Library Carpentry

The HSHSL is excited to announce that we received a grant from the Otis Escalator and Elevator Company to install a magnificent escalator over the Library’s central staircase. After years of complaints that “there are just too many steps” and “it’s a hazard,” the HSHSL is thrilled to replace “those knee breaking stairs” with a smooth ride from the 1st to the 5th floor.

Regional Medical Library Adds New Courses

The Southeastern Atlantic (SEA) Region of the Network of the National Library of Medicine has served the southeastern U.S. for over 35 years. Known as a juggernaut in the production of quality consumer health education and training, the SEA has announced new courses to be added to its stable of offerings, which has included such memorable favorites as “Does Duct Tape Really Cure Warts?” and “An Apple a Day.”

The seven new courses are:

  1. Really Truly Regrettable Diseases: Too Bad, So Sad
  2. Spontaneous Human Combustion: When More Than Your Ideas Are on Fire!
  3. Snoring Solutions: Putting a Pillow Over Someone’s Face Isn’t the Answer
  4. An Onion a Day: Getting the Solitude You Crave
  5. I Think You Are Muted: Mental Health in the Age of Zoom
  6. Bad to the Bone: Why Arthritis Hurts
  7. Sites for Sore Eyes: Exploring Conjunctivitis Resources

The SEA believes these courses will be very popular and looks forward to offering them soon

In Remembrance of an Office Plant

Photo of a dead potted plant

Oh once beautiful office plant, sitting on my desk.
You once brightened up my office space.
We were companions you and I.
But I left you behind to die.

It was only supposed to be two weeks
But this pandemic had other thoughts.
Leaving me without an office
And you without a water drop

I failed you oh once beautiful office plant
I should have grabbed you along with all the other stuff
Instead I walked out the door
Leaving you in the rough.

The space you once held is empty now,
I can’t bring myself to replace you
I’m sorry for the sad, lonely death you had
The neglect you suffered was just too bad.

HSHSL Ghosts

Photo of ghost

While the HSHSL has taken to closing at 5 p.m. during the COVID-19 pandemic, it appears that other-worldly visitors have been enjoying the peace and quiet of an empty late-night library. Several reliable sources have reported seeing and hearing unusual things at night. While there have been no confirmed sightings, no photographic or audio-visual proof, the staff speculate the curious specters are none other than Dr. John Crawford, Ruth L. Briscoe, and Henrietta the fish.

John Crawford

Though the Historical Collections remains closed to human researchers at this time, Environmental Services staff report that the department has been regularly visited by the paranormal. The historical collections librarian believes the ghostly visitor is none other than Dr. John Crawford, whose books founded the library at UMB. It is believed that Dr. Crawford, who died in 1813, returns nightly to Historical Collections to spend time with his beloved books and to further develop his theory that diseases were caused by animalculae (worms or insects).

Ruth L. Briscoe

Ruth L. Briscoe was hired in 1914 as the first professionally-trained librarian. She was respected and loved by students and faculty alike and served as a library director until 1946. During her service, Mrs. Briscoe oversaw several renovations of the Library where it once stood, in an old church building on the southeast corner of Lombard and Greene Streets. It is believed she walks the HSHSL today because she is so in awe of our beautiful six-story building and its importance at UMB today. She is especially fond of the grand staircase, where she has been sighted most frequently.

Henrietta the Fish

A fish, believed to be the beloved fish of Erin Latta, former National DOCLINE Coordinator, has been spotted swimming around in the HSHSL. Henrietta died two years ago and was buried on the grounds of the HSHSL. Unfortunately, in her deep grief, Erin failed to mark Henrietta’s grave, meaning no one can visit her; as a result, Henrietta has taken to swimming about in search of mourners.

The HSHSL, always in search of the truth, is looking to hire paranormal investigators to look into these stories. Any leads, sightings, or recordings should be sent to

How Many Face Masks Can You Count In The Picture?

Photo of a dead potted plant

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