Elephant Post: Which Fictional Character Would Be Outstanding In Your Profession?

We thought we would have a little fun this week and play off of the "geek" in our contributors. This week's question is:
Which Fictional (Star Trek, Monty Python, Dr. Who, mythical, etc.) character do you think would be outstanding in your profession?
Off the top of my head, I picked Mr. Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation. I think he would make a great librarian… especially in these days of electronic books, databases and Google searching. Of course, I'd have to teach him a little bit about the "reference interview" technique, but I think he'd catch on after a few months behind the reference desk (especially around 4:50 PM on Friday's before a three-day weekend.)

We want to "give thanks" to all of the different perspectives we got this week and wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. While you're on the couch – taking that obligatory nap – think about contributing to next week's post. We'll make it an easy one, since I'm sure the tryptophans are probably going to slow you down. So, read all the perspectives, then take a look at next week's question to see if you want to dive in and add your special perspective. If you do, then simply email me or tweet me and I'll give you the instructions on how to contribute.

Patent Librarian
Information Junkie
Kristin Whitman

Hermione Granger, no question!  Her nose is always in a book, cross referencing information, double-checking facts, and using logic to put the whole picture together.  She makes full time use of all sources available to her (including the Hogwarts Library restricted section), but won’t be fooled by a honeyed sales pitch (least of all from those Ministry of Magic types!).  She’s got her (extendable) ear to the ground and a mind like a Devil’s Snare, always gathering new information.  She’s the real behind-the-scenes hero!

The Teacher’s Perspective
Instant knowledge
VĂ©ronique Abad

The obvious character for me would be Mr Spock!  He would just have to put his hands on the head off his students and they would instantly know the full content  of the course! Or understand what they done wrong! No communications problems! Also it would be fun to see how he would react to the behaviour of the young generation living their virtual lives online while they are supposed to be practising an exercise.

Brain Power
Kathryn DeLia

Going with someone new, Megamind would be a good marketer. Lots of brain power, creative, clever, able to be good and bad at the same time, dresses well and able to choose music. Plus he has good delegation skills as his gives tasks to Minion and his brain bots. See the movie and you’ll know what I mean!

AFA Perspective
Solution Focused
Toby Brown

Austin Powers.  Cuz he’s the International Man of Mystery.  Talk about a man ready to face any challenge head on ....  For example: A challenging partner-like personality - Dr. Evil.  Aggressive Colleague - Felicity Shagwell.  Unexpected group reaction - The Fembots.  Crazed ego-maniacs - Goldmember.  Hands-on research - directly sampling Fat Ba$tard’s ‘evidence.’  Embracing new technologies - running the DVD on the phonograph.  Setting difficult but achievable goals - the Japanese twins.  Keeping a positive attitude no matter the circumstances - Yeah Baby!

Online Marketing Perspective
The Great and Terrible
Lisa Salazar

Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz: Because there’s no place like home ... and don't look behind the curtain!!

Law Librarian Perspective
Going the Extra Light Year
Janet McKinney

I think Scottie (original Star Trek) would be a good librarian, because of his dedication to his job, co-workers, and organization; his ingenuity when having to resolve problems; and because he’s often “givin’ her all she’s got, Captain.”  And knowing how to operate the transporter could be a desired skill in a law firm.

The IT Perspective
Winning in a no-win situation
Scott Preston

Captain Kirk.
One of my favorite Captain Kirk stories is the Kobayashi Maru story.  The Kobayashi Maru refers to a test that is a no-win test.  It is designed to see how a cadet handles a no-win situation.  Kirk who has taken the test twice already figures out how to reprogram the simulator to make it possible to have a winning outcome.  We are, on occasion, faced with what seems to be a no-win situation.  It would be great to have Captain Kirk reprogram the problem to have a winning outcome.

Knowledge Management Perspective
“Shockproof and can think faster than [a] super computer
Ayelette Robinson

Stitch, from Disney’s Lilo & Stitch, is described by his creator in the film as “shockproof and can think faster than [a] super computer.” I couldn’t think of a better skill set for knowledge managers -- the ability to bounce right back from challenges is key; and as the liaisons between attorneys and technologists, we need to be able to address substantive issues both quickly and correctly. As for Stitch’s “superhuman strength,” well... we can dream, can’t we?

Law Librarian Perspective
“Ford Prefect”
Ellen Quinn

Ford Prefect, the roving researcher from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is my choice for an outstanding library related science fiction character.  The Hitchhiker’s Guide is originally set in 1980s England where Ford, an alien from another planet, meets up with his friend Arthur Dent, just minutes before the earth is destroyed to make way for a hyperspace bypass.  As Ford later explains,  he was sent to earth to research the entry for an encyclopedic electronic book “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.”  While Ford’s work ethic is somewhat lacking, he spent 6 years on earth and his entry in the HHTTG for the earth is:  somewhat harmless.
The books in the series are loaded with odd quirky humor and sarcasm.  My brother once described the books as just too weird, even for him.  I have always found them to be delightfully odd and very funny.  The focus of the books, radio program, the 1981 BBC TV series (highly recommended) and other HHGTTG spinoffs is an e-book called The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.  Please note that at the time these books were written, there were no ebooks, no one had personal computers and there was no internet or world wide web.  Name any other TV show or book about a book.  Ok, maybe you can com up with one or two titles but none with the style and wit of the HHGTTG.  The late Douglas Adams who created the HHGTTG also wrote some episodes of Dr. Who, but it is his love of words, satire and humor combined with a very Dr. Who like science fiction world, that make these book and the character of Ford so appealing.
References to the HHGTTG appear throughout the internet.  Have you ever gone to Yahoo’s Babelfish translator and wondered at the odd name for this service?  It is named after the Babel fish, a creature described in the HHGTTG that provides instant language translations.  Although in the book you have to drop the little fish in your ear and it instantly translates any spoken language into something you can understand.
The very sarcastic references in the book to Megadodo Publications are a welcome bit of comic relief for those of us that have to deal with large publishing companies on a daily basis.
Type the “ultimate answer to life the universe and everything” into Google and you will get an answer straight from the HHGTTG = 42.  You need to read the book to get the joke but it is a widespread bit of humor.  The internet was developed by people who clearly knew and loved Adam’s books.  And his anti-authoritarian style while it was developed in the late 1970’s still rings true today.
Ford is Arthur’s guide through the galaxy and like today’s librarians, he interprets the world around him for others and explains the mysteries of the universe.

Another Librarian
Guts & Savvy
Mark Gediman

For my money, Gowron would make a great law firm librarian.  His wild expression and unpredictable nature hid a shrewd politcal operator.  Not everyone could have manipulated both the Romulans and the Federation into fighting a civil war on his behalf.  Can you imagine what this guy’s budget meetings would look like?  Not mention his reference interview skills.  He may not know the answers but can sure manipulate someone into telling him what they are.  And imagine the consequences for those who have the nerve to question whether he’s “necessary.”

Yet Another Librarian
Gorilla Librarian
Jan Rivers

Next Week's Elephant Post Question:

What Free (or very low-cost) Product do you use everyday that helps you accomplish your job?

Although the saying of "you get what you pay for" usually applies, there are some products that are out there that don't cost a dime, yet are extremely useful. I probably should have added the caveat of "with the exception of Google," but I'll even keep that option open. I know there is one product that I use a lot that is free (although I have contributed to the developer in the past for his hard work.)

If there is something that you use and you'd like to share the name of the product and how you use it, then send me an email or tweet and I'll give you the instructions on how to submit your contribution.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

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Ayelette Robinson said...

Wow, a very insightful post. :) Thanks Greg & everyone for making this so much fun!

Brian P. Craig said...

Since you mentioned the Pythons, I should mention that when I worked the reference desk, my role model was Basil Fawlty from "Fawlty Towers." Which may explain why I'm no longer sitting behind a reference desk.

Tricia Peavler said...

Captain Janeway. She's smart, resourceful, doesn't put up with any crap--and she's already got the bun.


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