Kelly Nagle

Kelly is a real-life librarian, and holds the amazing distinction of having created the newsgroup during her first week on the Internet.

Before discovering the internet, she was co-editor of the brilliant but largely forgotten underground satirical newspaper Head Express, which folded after two issues.

Kelly would now like to share a traditional folktale that is beloved by librarians all over the world. It was written by her friend Claire Morga and it is called:

The Little Librarian and the Magic Books

Once upon a time there was a little librarian. Her name was Claire. She was very slim and hardly ever wore glasses. The little librarian lived in a little library in a little town and all the townspeople visited the library to borrow the wondrous books there.

One day a new shipment of books arrived. The little librarian quickly opened the box and soon noticed that these were not ordinary books. They had pages of gold with silver lettering; the spines were covered with jewels; the illustrations were by Monet and Renoir. But, the most special thing -- the books were MAGIC.

Well, the little librarian immediately sent a newsletter to the townspeople to tell them the good news and soon they gathered at the library to see the new books.

"May we borrow them?" cried the patrons. "Well, okay, but only for seven days," said the little librarian. "It's very important that you return them on time. Remember, the due date is one week from today." So the patrons went home with their treasures and as the days passed, each thought how wonderful it would be to keep such a book and not return it to the library. Each began to devise a tall tale to tell the librarian.

On the seventh day, the little librarian opened the library bright and early and anxiously waited for the magic books to be returned. But, as the hours passed, none of the townspeople appeared. It was getting later and later, but still no one came. As the closing hour drew near, the little librarian decided to telephone each patron and remind them to bring the magic books back to the library. But, with each call, she heard another strange story.

"I was sitting by my window, reading, when suddenly a strong gust of wind blew the book out the window and I never saw it again."

"My house burned to the ground and the book was destroyed."

"My dog ate the book."

"I already returned the book. It was on Tuesday. I remember distinctly, Tuesday at 2 o'clock."

Oh, the little librarian was so unhappy. She said aloud, "I wish my magic books would be returned!" At that very moment, something strange started to happen all over town. The townspeople picked up their books but could not put them down. The books were stuck. "What shall we do?", they cried, "We must ask the librarian what to do."

Well, it was almost closing time at the library and as the little librarian went to the front door to lock up, she could not believe her eyes. All the townspeople were running towards the library. They had books stuck all over them. What a sight!

The little librarian was so happy to see all her books. And, as she touched each one it magically came loose. The townspeople were happy too.

The little librarian gathered all the books and was putting them back on the shelves as the people began to leave. But a policeman was waiting for them to take them to jail where they would be executed at dawn and their souls would burn in hell forever.

The End.

Kelly Nagle =