Last year, the prevailing way to handle it was to shout “BOX!” over and over again at anyone who came in and asked for a guide. “BOX!” we’d shout at them. “BOX!” until they’d realize that the box they were standing right next to had a bunch in it. Only then would we explain the rules about limiting them to one per camp to make sure they get the widest possible distribution.
That’s still happening this year, but there’s a lot of other approaches too. BMIR Station Manager Mao’s favorite, when I’m around, is to tell them “Sorry, we just ran out. We don’t have anymore. But Caveat’s got it all in his head. He’s basically the living Rockstar Librarian database. So you can take him.”
They always give me a strange once over. “What, you mean, like, ask him what shows we want to know about?”
“No,” says Mao. “Take him to your camp! Go ahead. It’s fine. He’ll fill everybody at your camp in on whatever you need to know, and then you can send him back. Keep him as long as you need. He’ll be really good.”
This goes on for a while, but no one actually takes the bait, and eventually we tell them where the guidebooks are and give them the “one-per-camp” spiel.
But the other day, a young woman desperate to bring a Rockstar Librarian Guide back to her camp said. “Um … okay.”
“Great,” I said, picking up my backpack. “Where are we going?”
“Okay,” she said again, as though trying to convince herself. “We’ll, um, take you back to camp.” (more…)