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What If... Stargate SG-1 had a librarian?

Edward Shaddow in library, what if, stargate

Like Uatu I watch our universe and many alternative realities 1, and like the Watcher before me, I have decided to recount to you a tale of one of these worlds.

Recently I have been peering into the reality that is Stargate SG-1 2. By 'peering' I of course mean binge watching every episode back-to-back. Late one night I started thinking about dream jobs and I wondered 'does Stargate Command (SGC) have a librarian?' If they did what would they do? What would the JDF look like for that?

David Lankes tells us that what makes up a library is the professional staff in it and what they bring to the community they serve 3. Military libraries are already well established [citation needed], however the SGC is a unique branch of the US Air Force and would allow for some unique and interesting opportunities. For those unaware of the exact nature of the stargate should go watch this quick 101 video and have a skim of the wikipedia page. Even better, go watch the original movie, Stargate (that Kurt Russell, so dreamy). I'll wait.

Ok, here we go.

Job Advert

Apologies for cross posting.

Librarian
Stargate Command Library

The US Airforce is looking for a proactive and motivated person to develop and maintain this small but busy military library. Candidates will be working with a large team of military, archaeological, scientific, and medical staff. A strong working knowledge of technical systems is a must, archaeological background favourable, knowledge of ancient languages (Latin, Ancient Greek, Sanskrit, etc.) will be beneficial, as will experience with computer coding and crystal data storage. Must be willing to travel, with off-base postings available at our Pegasus and Destiny bases. Please view the attached position description and provide a resume and covering letter addressing the selection criteria.

This position will require a SSBI (Single Scope Background Investigation) clearance.

Duties

  • 3D scan and catalogue off-world artefacts
  • Archive reports (work with records management)
  • Maintain and develop linked repositories
  • Maintain and develop a translation database
  • Purchase and catalogue research resources (digital and physical)
  • Develop a small lending collection for base staff and visiting personnel
  • Provide research documents for off-world ambassadors
  • Research and develop internal documentation libraries (technical manuals relating to new technology, alien artefacts, and Ancient technology)
  • Monitor Earth media for leaks and references to alien technology
  • Maintain and update off-world libraries and databases on Alpha sites
  • Liaise with allied nations for information sharing (Russia, Great Britain, and France)
  • Integrate alien databases (Tok'Ra, Ancient, Goa'uld, Asgard)
  • Liaise with other military libraries (Area 51)

Special Projects

The following are special projects that SGCL (Stargate Command Library) would look at implementing.

Linked Repositories
Working with linked data principles create a robust search interface that links gate addresses with mission reports, medical reports, display digitised artefacts, recognised culture, language, and Goa'uld System Lord influence areas.

Alpha Sites
Communication between off-world Alpha sites is limited due to lack of subspace communications. Off-world databases need constant updating, backup, and maintenance. Developing a method of transferring data quickly and securely between Earth and off-world sites would ensure accurate and up-to-date information informs ongoing missions.

Information Gathering
What the actual heck is a 'Furling'?

A World of Difference

So what does it all mean? What difference would a librarian make to the world of SG-1? I feel that even a basic cross referencing system that would allow SGC staff to quickly and easily match mission reports and artefacts found, cultural, and language resources could potentially save lives.

It seems to be standard operating procedure (SOP) to video record ancient ruins 4. Managing this footage, linking it with language databases, and other relevant texts held on base (Dr Jackson, could you please return your overdue items!), could again save time, money and lives.

Even on a smaller scale, just cataloging and keeping a basic circulation system could improve the efficiency of research. Putting in search requests for texts referencing certain names/planets/deities would speed up the late night research sessions the SG-1 team seems to constantly be involved with [citation needed].

I feel that adding a librarian to the SGC would actually improve the day-to-day life of the people on base, and potentially the world. Plus it would make for some great fanfiction and a spin-off series!

What's next

Thanks for indulging me with this but I think it shows potential to see how a librarian/library would improve the lives of fictional characters (if not a little navel gazing). If you've got a suggestion of what I should look at next tweet me @edwardshaddow.

  1. Well, comics and television shows count right? Right?!

  2. We'll ignore the extended universe for now, because technically Atlantis has an Ancient database with an holographic interface and Universe...well Universe is doomed.

  3. Lankes, David R. 2011. ”Threads: Mission.” In The Atlas of New Librarianship, p24. Cambridge: Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

  4. See the heartbreaking two parter 'Heroes' where SG-13 is exploring the planet P3X-666 and filming ruins https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heroes_(Stargate_SG-1)

A writer with weird ideas and a polytheism fixation. My alter ego lives in the library, soaking up tech and designing pretty things.

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