Friday, March 18, 2011

Untested Tranquilizer Back In Circulation At Yale Library

By Nancy Mattoon

"Monty," Yale Law Library's
Controversial Canine Tranquilizer.

(Image Courtesy of Lillian Goldman Law Library.)

A Booktryst story first reported in September 2010, concerning the illicit use of an untested tranquilizer at the Yale Law School Library, has taken a new turn. Once again, the scoop on the continuing controversy involving the Lillian Goldman Law Library comes from the online legal tabloid, Above The Law. Last year, the tabloid revealed staffers at the library were circulating a stress-reliever with the street name "Monty" to calm the frayed nerves of the school's would-be legal eagles. Once this irresponsible experiment came to light, the controversial substance was suddenly "withdrawn," and Goldman librarian Julian Aiken denied the entire episode, claiming: "I'm not quite sure where Above the Law got its information from, but we have not actually proceeded with circulating Monty."

Lillian Goldman Law Library's
Original Full
Catalog Record For "Monty."
It Was Mysteriously Deleted In September, 2010.

But a March 10, 2011 internal memo obtained by Above The Law reveals that far from abandoning the study of the tranquilizer, technically known as, "Border Terrier Mix General Montgomery," the Yale staffers are now planning a controlled clinical trial of the substance, using volunteer students as guinea pigs. According to the Goldman Library memo: "The Law library intends to run a three-day pilot program starting on March 28, 2011 during which students will be able to “check out” our certified library therapy dog, Monty, for thirty minute periods. We hope that making a therapy dog available to our students will prove to be a positive addition to current services offered by the library."

Above The Law's Paparazzi Captured
This Candid Shot
Of Monty in 2010.

It appears that this time around library staffers are determined to rigorously test their new treatment for the psychologically overwhelmed students of America's top-rated law school. Again quoting from the internal memo, "Beginning March 21, 2011, a sign-up sheet with additional information will be available at the circulation desk for students wishing to check out Monty. Even though Monty is hypoallergenic, visits will be confined to a dedicated non-public space in the library to eliminate potential adverse reactions from any library user who might have dog-related concerns. We are committed to ensuring our library remains a welcoming and comfortable environment for all our users. Finally, we will need your feedback and comments to help us decide if this will be a permanent on-going program available during stressful periods of the semester, for example during examinations."

Another 2010 Document From The Goldman Library,
Since Removed From The Catalog.

However, even with this new, much more tightly structured approach to introducing the still-experimental Monty to psychologically vulnerable scholars, official Yale sources remain tight-lipped regarding the stress reliever. "We can confirm that the Law Library is, in fact, doing this pilot program with Monty, the therapy dog, but beyond that, we have nothing to add," said Kathy Colello, the news director in the Office of Public Affairs. When contacted, Goldman library assistant Eugene Kozoloff maintained complete ignorance, stating he had seen “neither hide nor hair” of the dog. But recent law school alum Sohail Ramirez says he has already been introduced to Monty, and can verify that he is “definitely real and awesome.”

Yale's Original Mascot,
"Handsome Dan" The Bulldog,
Is Eerily Similar To Monty.

(Image Courtesy of the Yale University
Manuscripts & Archives Digital Images Database.)

Booktryst's independent research has revealed some facts that would seem to back-up the validity of the study, but also some decidedly cautionary information. Since Monty is a "mix," that means some of his genetic background remains a question mark. But according to Wikipedia, the Border Terrier breed's "love of people and even temperament make them fine therapy dogs, especially for children and the elderly, and they are occasionally used to aid the blind or deaf." On the other hand, student test subjects should have a care, Border Terriers were "originally bred as fox and vermin hunters...they will get along well with cats that they have been raised with, but may chase other cats and small animals such as mice, rabbits, squirrels, rats, and guinea pigs." (Emphasis mine.)


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