UC Berkeley News


E.T., your book has come in

| 09 September 2004

It’s somehow fitting that a crew of aliens has made a home away from home at the campus’s Interlibrary Borrowing Service, where welcoming things from afar is a raison d’etre.

The creatures made their debut there in early 2000, when a pair of staffers bought an inflatable extraterrestrial on eBay for $4 and gave him the unusual name Alien G. Then came Princess Aliana (large and screaming green), the more diminutive Zaphod, and a “sullen teen” afflicted with purple skin. So did a stash of blow-up props — parrot, pineapple, guitar, baseball bats, jumbo hammer, happy-face Santa — used in ever-changing scenes near the front reception desk.

“Patrons love it,” says staffer Elissa Mondschein, one of the aliens’ biggest boosters. “For a while we were on the campus tour; the guides would tell people to check out the display.”

Past tableaux at 133 Doe have marked the seasons and feted holidays (Washington’s Birthday, Thanksgiving, Easter, Day of the Dead, and, of course, Halloween), as well as Mardi Gras and National Coming Out Day — the latter featuring an inflatable SpongeBob, boyfriend Zaphod, and a proud parent with a placard reading “I Love My Alien Son.” Summer 2004 found the cast of characters in breezy beach togs (sewn by one of the office’s many student employees), as shown below. As of this week the aliens are in back-to-school mode, sporting Cal gear and blue-and-gold tchotchkes from here to Mars.