Sunday, November 19, 2006

Miss Information

My husband gave me the nickname "Miss Information" back when we were dating. Little did he know that years later he would be portraying "Miss Information" in front of hundreds of children and their parents at our Library. Miss Information personifies everything that we hope we are not. She is loud; she is always throwing her credentials around yelling, "Q.U.I.E.T." (Quincy University Intellectual Educational Teacher). She is out of date and out of touch.

We came up with this idea of "Miss Information" in 2005 when our Kennedy Middle School approached us about hosting a Family Reading Night at our Library. Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth graders can be a tough audience. We wanted to convey the Library's rules in a fun and entertaining manner. We thought that a man in drag with big hairy knees peeping out from between his nylon knee-highs and polyester skirt, stating ridiculous rules such as that the fines were $1,000.00 per day, and that you had to be 81 to use the library, would have the students howling. But the kids and many of their parents did not initially get the gag. We probably were two minutes into our act before they realized this was a put-on and that Miss Information was full of "misinformation." She was so popular that she has been requested to make other appearances.

I have asked myself why the students and parents did not immediately recognize Miss Information for what she was. Was my husband's performance as a woman worthy of an Oscar nomination? Well... he did a good job, but he wasn't as good as Dustin Hoffman in Tootsie. Does Kankakee have the most polite children in all of library land? Well ....they are pretty great, but I don't think that is the reason. Could it be Miss Information was a little too real? I hope that's not the answer. It is rather frightening to think Miss Information may actually be a real librarian out there somewhere in libraryland.

Cindy Fuerst
Library Director


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