1. I assume because people who would actually vote would be put off if they became aware of her friends being supporters of the library?

  2. The Kanamit is definitely reading “To Serve Man,” and I have the feeling this entire strip was constructed around drawing him. It doesn’t seem to make any sense elsewise, at least that I can see.

  3. Why are you singling this one out? So far as I can tell not a single strip of Library Comic makes any sense whatsoever. Yet somehow the cartoonist seems to think his internal logic is clear.

  4. larK: Maybe she’s a library employee and is thus ineligible to vote? Though I think the bear-dwarf-man would probably know that’s why she’s always around the library.

  5. She might not be a resident of relevant the city/county (even though she apparently lives close enough to use this library every day). She might not be of age (though she doesn’t look all that young) or might be an ex-prisoner in a place that doesn’t allow them to vote (though she doesn’t look old enough for that to be likely either). Or she might have failed/forgotten to register to vote, in a locale that requires you to do so in advance, but that’s kind of a boring reason. Or, given her friends, she might be a humanoid-looking alien or an android or something.

    I fairly regularly use public libraries in several adjoining counties, including having checkout privileges due to local reciprocity — but that doesn’t mean I’d be allowed to vote for library-related initiatives in any of them other than my own city/county.

  6. Everyone responding to my question is focusing on the wrong end of the question: I’m not so much interested in why she can’t vote as I am in why the aliens can vote; the fact she can’t is just one more factor weighing the odds against the aliens’ franchise it seems to me…

  7. (Before trying to account for the space aliens,) I figured the woman was ineligible to vote for one or another of the reasons CIDUers have adduced above, most likely (1) criminal convictions (but they would be for civil disobedience or the like) or (2) she’s an alien in the normal earthly sense of being a citizen of a different country.

    Anyway, I have been enjoying Library Comic for a couple years, and though the comparisons with Retail are not really wrong, I don’t find the self-justification tendency too off-putting. It does seem directed mostly at members of the profession, but is not just that librarians are cool but patrons are jerks. It’s more about the oddities found in all aspects of the setting.

  8. ” It does seem directed mostly at members of the profession, but is not just that librarians are cool but patrons are jerks. It’s more about the oddities found in all aspects of the setting.”

    As a trained librarian, I’m okay with and understand those part of the strip. It’s the jokes, stories, and situations that don’t make *any* sense and are utterly incomprehensible.

  9. I thought the implication was that she was an alien, and the joke is that all of her friends are aliens too.

  10. Okay, random observations as to why he wouldn’t want them on his side anyway…. because they are malevolent aliens who interfere with human activity in a harmful manner. The Kanamit wants to aid humanity to establish a permanent food stock of humans and the “elf” wants to abduct and perform intrusive surgery and probes on people

    … as to why *these* are her friends and wear matching color coordination and why these manipulative and invasive aliens are allowed to vote while she can’t and why despite their invasive intents to interfere with humanity she describes them as “mostly chos(ing) not to vote” or why any of this is considered to be a “joke” is completely beyond me.

  11. I’m also a librarian, and I also am usually befuddled by this strip. I liked his old strip, Unshelved, a lot better — that one captured the “library patrons are infuriating sometimes, but I still love my job” feeling, while this one just seems mean-spirited a lot of the time.

  12. There is no part of this strip that I understand, but one question I have not seen addressed yet is what exactly is meant by “Vote Yes for Libraries”? Are there people who are anti-library? If they are trying to get tax funds for improvements I could see people being for or against it. But there’s nothing to indicate that here.

  13. It happens coincidentally that I just received the weekly mailing from Library Comic, with three recent 4-panel comics; one of which continues the “vote Yes for Libraries” bit.

    Hmm. Uh-oh. I think this is in four separate images.

    The comments on the site identify the characters (besides Martin, the librarian at the desk) as Veronica (played by Portia de Rossi), Lem, and Phil — apparently guest cameos from a TV show I don’t know anything about.

  14. “, I would have more simply gone with a single link: http://librarycomic.com/comic/572/

    Would you care to explain this equally incomprehensible strip?

    Again what *is* the “Vote Yes for Library” command a reference to? Is this woman with the weird eyes an alien? And what in God’s name is she talking about *now*? Is demanding whether the librarian is using reverse-reverse psychology when he’s merely not canvassing supposed to somehow be a joke? Why? And what’s with the guys in the doctor coats? Are they supposed to be cameos from “Better off Ted”? Why are they just standing there with smirks and creepy blank eyes? What the effing blank is going on? Is this supposed to be a joke and what is *wrong* with the cartoonist that he’d think this is comprehensible?

  15. Woozy, sorry, I was supposing my moderated comment would be surfacing. I mentioned there that I was at a loss for who these people were, but reader comments on the site named them as characters from a TV series I’m not familiar with. (Though the woman speaking is played on TV by Portia di Rossi. Which I guess I can see now that it is pointed out.) This is not the same woman as in the one with aliens.

    Clearly there is some kind of millage election going on in the local community. It may be surprising that the library is allowed to actively campaign, but that does seem to be what the posters and cards (bookmarks?) are about.

    The banter in the followup cartoon that I linked is just these people trying to get cute about bluffing

  16. “The characters are from the short-lived very funny series “Better off Ted.””

    But … why?

    Why are two private company Research and Development engineers in the library? What significance does having tv characters in the background serve? And why are they just … standing there smirking and doing nothing?

  17. Related to Shrug’s comment – whenever we are walking somewhere and there is someone set up to push a candidate, my standard answer is I don’t live here so they will leave me alone. So she might be lying to be left alone.

  18. I got the impression that the lady’s “friends” were controlling her somehow, and not allowing her to vote. It still doesn’t address why they would be allowed to. (Perhaps because rules don’t apply to them, as they can just convince you that they are allowed to do what it is they want.)

  19. Gosh, this blog seems to have an above-average number of librarian commentators.

    I’m with woozy. I’m fine with them bashing library patrons, but most of the time I don’t understand what’s going on.

    What’s going on here?:


    The ending suggests that red-shirt guy is being a doofus, but all I see is blue dress lady being a jerk.

  20. Another (ex) librarian here — retired after forty-some years in a university library reference department.

    As to “what’s going on here,” the female patron is not willing to accept help from the male library staffer. Possiblythis is related to her apparent pregnancy (most likely because (a) she has Lady Stuff Ob-Gyn questions she doesn’t want to ask of a male and/or (b) she’s learned, too late, that males are untrustworthy slimemolds).

  21. Shrug: But are we supposed to side with her? It seems like we are, but even if she wants to talk to a woman, just ignoring someone who’s trying to help you seems pretty jerky.

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