In celebration of having turned in my archiving-apocalypse paper I guess it is only fitting that I take today to talk about the magical gift that fell into my lap courtesy of genarti: Tomes and Talismans, otherwise known as AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA OKAY.
So Tomes and Talismans is an educational TV series from 1986. It is meant to teach children about the value of LIBRARIES!
But because the nice people at the Mississippi Broadcasting Corporation don't want the kids to be bored, the story has a plot, and the plot is: ALIENS CAME TO EARTH AND SCARED AWAY ALL THE PEOPLE AND RAN AROUND DESTROYING EVERYTHING.
The aliens, called Wipers, are distinguishable from humans by the fact that they . . . are bad hillbilly stereotypes? I don't know, guys, the nice people at MBC had a budget of three dollars.
Anyway, Our Heroine is Ms. Bookhart, the head of the Last Human Library. Everybody is getting ready to evacuate, but . . . OH NO! A BOOK IS MISSHELVED!
Ms. Bookhart cannot be having with that, so after giving her staff a reminder of the Dewey Decimal System, she sends them off to evacuate and goes to hunt for the book in the barren post-apocalyptic landscape.
Or, you know, the mailbox, whatever. Anyway the point is that she MISSES THE EVACUATION and is abandoned on Earth, and couldn't even find the book! OH NOES.
Fortunately for Ms. Bookhart, at this point mystic forces decide to take a hand.
"I am a universal being, riding on a zephyr, weaving time and space," this gentleman helpfully explains. "From this moment you shall begin, passing the years ten times ten." (Universal beings apparently enjoy showing off their ability to do basic math.) Then he sprinkles some glitter on Ms. Bookhart and she falls asleep in the Bookmobile for a a hundred years.
Eventually she is found by another variety of alien known as . . . Users! Those of you who are library-and-information-science-trained will recognize this BA-DUM-CHING.
These are the four User kids. You can tell they are aliens because of their orange jumpsuits. I can't tell you much about their personalities except for this one, who is a hilarious tool.
WORDS PRINTED ON PAPER? WHAT IS THIS PREPOSTEROUS MADNESS.
It's okay though because with the guidance of Ms. Bookhart he and his buddies are going to go through an ARC of learning to APPRECIATE BOOKS!
Ms. Bookhart is slightly taken aback by the fact that she is the last human left on Earth and all of her friends have been dead for decades, but it's okay, she's pretty happy as long as she has someone to explain about card catalogs to.
Also she gets to have a romance with the kids' dad after rescuing him from peril with the power of cross-cataloging, so I guess all's well that ends well.
Our plucky heroes do spend most of the thirteen-episode series trapped in the library by Wipers, but the Universal Being keeps popping up to give them hints, and eventually -- spoilers! -- they are able to defeat the evil aliens with ARCHIVAL PRINCIPLES and summon humanity back to Earth, so that's all right.
My favorite part is when the Universal Being shows up at the end to give them the sacred bibliography.
For any of you library-minded individuals who may be interested in investigating this gem of a series, or feel that you need a refresher on the proper use of microfiche in preventing the apocalypse, it is all up on YouTube for your viewing pleasure.
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