In March 2020, Libro Cop’s life changed forever. He watched with stunned disbelief as UCD succumbed to lockdown restrictions and shut its doors to students. His sobs echoed through Newman as “virtual learning” replaced good-old-fashioned corporal-punishment-filled education. As the months passed, he grew more despair filled and despondent.  Who was he now but a mere mortal? A man with no purpose, no authority, and no calling in life.

He regularly dreamt of week 12 in the James Joyce Library; he was fuelled by the fear of the students. His sight was keen, his hearing supersonic, akin to the sonar fuelled power of one hundred bats mashed together. 

His special powers enabled him to hear the leaves fall off the trees, the rustle of a swan’s distant wing, the crinkling of a wrapper four floors below, or the crisp snap of the lid of a can being cracked open in the men’s bathrooms. He would swoop down on unsuspecting students, doling out 20 Euro fines. He had the agility of a cheetah, mixed with the eagerness of a desperate chubby child handing out birthday invitations to the party nobody would attend.

In September, he cooked up a cunning plan. He constitutionally challenged UCD based on Article 40 rights of students to Education: “A student cannot truly learn without library access”. He also requested a vending machine be placed on the 2nd floor of the library but admittedly as a “guilty pleasure”. Those who purchase food from it would be dealt with accordingly. Although socially distanced seating arrangements have thwarted his punitive regime, Libro Cop remains a strong authoritative presence in halls of the James Joyce Library.

The Jessanatar – Amateur Librarian