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Two students win Coates Library’s gnome naming contest with “Sherlock Gnomes”

After a weeklong contest and over 45 submissions, Trinity students now have a name by which to call the library’s new study gnome: Sherlock Gnomes.

“We took every single contribution from students,” said Jason Hardin, manager of access service in Coates Library. “We put them all on a ballot and sent a google form to the entire library staff.”

The result was the selection of “Sherlock Gnomes,” which was submitted independently by sophomores Corey Fisher and Julia Nguyen.

“I was trying to think of puns for the word gnome, since Gnome Chomsky was such a great name,” Nguyen said. “I was also watching an episode of ‘Elementary’ (the contemporary, American version of ‘Sherlock Holmes’) and whenever they kept saying ‘Holmes,’ I thought, ‘Holmes … Gnomes … Sherlock Gnomes’ I guess it just came to me.”

Fisher used the name of the previous gnome, Gnome Chomsky, as inspiration for his idea as well as a few out-of-the-box methods.

“The old gnome was named Chomsky, after Noam Chomsky. So I decided that the obvious answer was terrible, terrible gnome puns,” Fisher said. “I submitted a few different ones, and also crowdsourced some ideas from an IRC channel I frequent; I can’t recall if it was one of the ones suggested to me or if I came up with that particular one myself.”

Molly Pylant, library assistant, collected the submissions and sent the form out to the library staff.

“We received quite a bit of submissions, more than I expected, actually,” Pylant said. “There were over 45; I was shocked. There were some cute names in there, too.”

Other submissions included Gnomeo, Jerome the Gnome and Gnomer Simpson; however, Sherlock Gnomes won out.

“I was particularly fond of Gnomer Simpson, but I think [Sherlock Gnomes] is appropriate because Sherlock Holmes was a brilliant investigator and that’s what libraries are all about,” Hardin said.

Nguyen also believes that the name is perfectly suited to the library.

“Since the character originally came from novels, I think that Sherlock Gnomes is a very fitting name for a gnome that calls the library his home,” Nguyen said.

Both Fisher and Nguyen’s names will appear in the library catalog under the entry for Sherlock Gnomes as authors.

“It’s slightly amusing, really. It’s not a big accomplishment, but it’s funny to have ‘I named a gnome’ on a permanent record,” Fisher said.

There is a chance that a ‘Dr. Watson’ could join Sherlock Gnomes, but the possibility is small according to Hardin.

“Traditionally Sherlock Holmes always worked with a partner,” Hardin said. “It’s just a thought that’s out there.”

Sherlock Gnomes can be checked out at the library’s Circulation Desk as a study partner and good luck charm.

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