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Created and Maintained by
A.B. Credaro
June 2, 2002

(With apologies to Theodore Geisel)

The library was dull.
There was no money to pay
For all the great books
At the publishers’ display.

And then 
Something went SLUMP!
How that slump made us jump!

We looked!
Then we saw him step on the mat!
We Looked!
And we saw him!
The Board's consultant assessor – that rat!
And he said to us:
“Why do you sit there like that?”

“I know it is dull
And the library is not funny,
But you can still do some things
That will save us some money.”

“I know some good things we could do,”
Said The Man.
“I know some new tricks”,
Said The Man with the Can. 
“A lot of good tricks.
I will show them to you,
Your library association
Will not mind at all if I do.

Then the cataloguer and I
Did not know what to say.
Our manager was out 
For the day.
But our hearts said “No!
No! Make that man go away!
Tell The Man with the Can
You do NOT want to play.
He should not be here
He should not be about.
He should not be here
When our manger is out."

“Now! Now” Have no fear.
Have no fear! “ said The Man.
“My tricks are not bad.”
Said the Man with the Can.
“Why, we can have 
Lots of good fun, with a game that empowers,
With a game that I call
Up-Up-Up with the Hours:”

“Starting tomorrow” said The Man
With the Can,
“You’ll all do an extra hour of time
And scrub out the washrooms
Remove all the slime.”
“And next week you’ll all have great fun,
Cleaning the shelves 
When your other work is done.”

“This will save us some big bucks”
Said The Man with the Can,
“Not hiring cleaners.”
We thought “This just sucks.”

“Look at me!
Look at me now!” said The Man with the Can.
“With another trick to save money,
Now we’ve began.”

“Patrons can borrow just one book a week
Then we can run
A library that’s sleek!
Too many books here,
You don’t need any more.
People can just BUY some
At the nearest book store!”

“Look at this!
Look at this!
Look at me NOW!
It’s fun saving money, 
But you have to know how.”

“I can chop all the budgets
For that library stuff,
Then start with the staff cuts
That’s just off the cuff!”

“The rent on this building
Is way, way too high,
We’ll get a smaller building,
I know you’ll get by!”
“You’ll have to share” 
Said The Man with the Can,
“With some community members;
That’s our long-term plan.” 

"You'll sell raffle tickets,
And boxes of candy,
And double the charges
Of anything handy.
We want you to cover just the
front half of books,
Our research has shown
That's the only place "one" looks.
And barcodes cost money,
So chop them in half,
Don't worry, we'll program
The scanners to laugh."

“But meantime we need you to help
Pay for utilities,
If you want toilet paper
In your ablution facilities.”

Then The Man with the Can
Gave each one of us a tin,
And sent us to malls
For donations to be put in.

The cans, clearly marked,
With words brightly writ,
“Please give to your library, or 
The staff have to quit.”

To correctly cite this page:
Credaro,A.B.(2002). The Man with the Can. Warrior Librarian Weekly [online] [Accessed:insert date]