These playground metaphors for LETRS carried associated assumptions and stereotypes about the intended users and related scripts for how the LETRS staff were supposed to interact with them.
The term "ambush" suggests an aggressive role for the LETRS staff and a passive one for the user.
In addition to being a place for play, LETRS was also described as a laboratory or workshop--"a humanist's wetbench" (a metaphor from chemistry).
LETRS, on the other hand, was carpeted and comfortably furnished (unlike the rest of the library right outside its door, which conformed to a standard institutional style).
LETRS was seen as different from the rest of the library.
On the one hand, the mission of LETRS was to sell itself to potential users and attract as many of these people inside as possible.
The relevant script is one of providing initiation and guidance to the neophytes, while the computers and products kept in LETRS fill the role of sacred mysteries.
The script favored by the LETRS staff to describe their relationship with the users was, however, subtly different from the Virgil-Dante metaphor.
The missionary--here, the LETRS consultant--is in a superior, if not patronizing, role with respect to the unenlightened user.
In keeping with this evangelizing script, everyone at LETRS referred to their outstanding conversion story.
If the retired librarian described above referred to himself in these terms LETRS staff were not hesitant to ascribe similar attitudes to humanist scholars.
He had research assistants creating and using linguistic databases, and he required his students to do assignments using the specialized text analysis software in LETRS.