Saturday, July 16, 2016

Bronx, Lee. Uncle U the Ridiculous Librarian: a Humorous-Satirical Novel (New York: Copen Press, 1977) 81 p.
The staff and daily life of a technical services department of a New York university come to life in this account. It is so realistic I suspect it is a description of a real place. I further suspect that the author is the “Chinese nephew” mentioned as a staff member. At any rate the author's first language is clearly not English.
Uncle U is the eccentric Chief of Cataloging. He is imperious, demanding absolute obedience to his instructions. He constantly finds fault with the work of his “nieces and nephews.” He demands silence at all times. Aunt Matahari presides over the Periodicals Section. She does not like to supervise men and so only hires “nieces.” Like Uncle U she is always in the right even though she does not seem to understand the basics of library work.

The head of the department is a man named Tim who has a severe stutter. To overcome this he speaks very loud. For this reason the staff call him Uncle Honky. Life is hard for all the unprofessional “nieces and nephews” who do all the work and get none of the credit.  

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