Dr. Deanna Lee-Brary reigns as library dean in LMU’s Hannon Library, a job she has held for over a decade. This comes as a surprise to many and begs the question: what on Earth is a library dean? The Bluff’s exclusive interview tells all.
It was a rather hot Friday afternoon in Hannon. The stacks seemed fuller than usual, which can be attributed to Hannon being an AC oasis in the northwest part of campus. Dr. Lee-Brary sat on her throne of books, consisting of novels, textbooks and that Shakespeare folio we have all heard of but never seen. Dr. Lee-Brary held a horse whip and wore a crown that read “headmaster” on it.
“Don’t be put off by the whip,” she reassured me with a wink. “I haven’t used it on a human before ... yet.” Dr. Lee-Brary, a woman whose career in the stacks is longer than most students’ lives, gave the timeline of how she became the literary lioness of LMU. “I have always loved reading books, but I wanted to experience them with more than just my sense of sight.” Why just read the books, when you can feel the books? And, furthermore, why just feel those books when you can make the books feel you?”
“The dean of the library’s job is to make sure these books stay on their best behavior,” said Dr. Lee-Brary. She showed me video evidence of the harm books can do to young people. Paper cuts, hypnosis and perversion of the mind are a few of the offenses the dean of library has to deal with on a regular basis. She pointed to the Theology section. “Not a single reference to Lucifer over there. They’ve all been redacted,” she said with pleasure. She uses a technique referred as “beating the devil out of it” to take the offensive ideas out of books. “Tom Sawyer,” “Hop on Pop” and “The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things” were taken off the banned books list after Dr. Lee-Brary implemented her disciplinary technique.
When Dr. Lee-Brary isn’t disciplining books for their content, she is making them safer for readers. According to her, “an unhappy book is likelier to give you a paper cut than others. To prevent books from lashing out, we provide a therapist for the books, which is where most of the SPS funding goes. And if all else fails, we turn to the book equivalent of a straitjacket — taping and laminating around the corners of pages.”
“All in all, I love my job. It’s often a thankless job, but I don’t do it for the thanks,” said Dr. Lee-Brary. “I do it for the money, obviously.”
The Bluff is a humorous and satirical section published in the Loyolan. All quotes attributed to real figures are completely fabricated; persons otherwise mentioned are completely fictional.