by Karen Helde
In this classic bit of Sesame Street comedy, Cookie Monster struggles to accept the fact that his library has just books. No cookies. Just books. So when watching it, do you identify more with the librarian or with Cookie Monster?
I confess that I found myself siding with the C. Monster and his cheerful obtuseness. His goal in life is to get cookies. A book to go along with the cookies is great, but it’s really all about the cookies. Is he that different from most people (or monsters, on a bad day) who walk into our libraries? They’re not really there for the book, the password, the article, or the URL. They’re there to get whatever is playing the role of “cookies” in their life at the moment: a partner’s recognition, a good grade, a client’s satisfaction, a resolution to a neighborhood dispute.The muppet-librarian in us may want to insist, “This is a liiiibrary. We have books here. Only books. We have no cookies.” As we see in the clip, however, this does nothing to dissuade Cookie Monster from his goal, and definitely does not end well for the librarian. Next time you’re faced with a monster of a reference request, it might help to keep this skit in mind. The worst that can happen is that you end up craving cookies.