Tuesday, April 7, 2009

We also work as psychiatrists...

Newsweek has an article out about libraries becoming career centers and librarians doing double duty as career counselors, which I understand in this economy as I have been asked for advice on applications, proofreading cover letters, helping locate the best aggregated job sites. Perhaps my favorite unemployed patron to assist was an elderly man who claimed to be a former lawyer and was doing some consulting work on the side. He would book one of our study rooms and use it all day as his personal office, letting our phone line serve as his "line 2" (for when his cell was busy). As interesting a character as he was, I was surprised to discover a few years later when I was going through the local achieves researching another topic when I came across his obituary. It included a black and white photograph of a young man in a soldier’s uniform and detailed his life in the military and career as a lawyer. The only problem was it wasn't my patron's obituary, because it was from 1972. I learned later that my patron had stolen the dead guy's identity and was using his name and attempting to use his career as an entry point to pretend to practice law. When I thought about it, there were definite signs: he never had any clients and couldn’t get a library card because he had no ID. He carried a briefcase, but he was also living out of his car.

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