Sunday, January 15, 2006

Some Follow Up

Okay, no film of people being cross about the new computers at NP. And now that the stress and confusion is 24 hours old, it doesn't seem that interesting. In short, the installation of 40-some new PCs didn't go well. "Images" (what public users can access -- it's a way of dumping any documents left on the desktop or bookmarks, or even cookies, I guess) didn't take, printers weren't networked, fiber optic cable that's been broken for weeks didn't get replaced, and the OPAC (er, catalog) didn't want to play.

And of course the first 10 people in the door had critical printing and computing needs: boarding passes for flights later in the day to print; directions to a meeting; the page that proves someone took and passed an online test -- that sort of thing. Add in the usual 3 patrons trying to bully you into putting a hold on a book not even in the building, and a small side of bad communication, and it was a stressful morning.

By the time an 11 year-old fella asked "why are all your computers busted?" I was cracking lots of great jokes in my head. "Because we hate our patrons and want to annoy you!" "They're not busted -- they're new!" Yeah, I'm easily amused.

Another bit of follow up is to an ep. of "Cosmos" P & H & I watched last night. It's the one where he posits an Encyclopedia Galactica and thought, How sad that he didn't live to see h2g2 online and Wikipedia. Sure enough, the later has a splendid entry on the EG, here. Educators and librarians who bemoan Wikipedia underestimate the passion people have for their subjects; they will fix anything that gets muddled; they will delve deeper than any print book could hold (Adam's print one, after all, needed several fleets to haul it around).


Anonymous said...

To err is human, but to really screw things up, you need a computer (better yet, a network).


CNB said...

What's the line about best laid plans...? When I worked in the corporate world, new products and systems would get rolled out, training would occur, and then on the first day of operation, whatever had been updated, inevitably, would not work, it would need more updates, or everyone was so confused that it took twice as long to do the original task. I feel for ya, Sister!

PS Thanks for the Frederick Pix!

Anonymous said...

You have a great amount of sympathy from me--been there, got the T-shirt.

Once we got 20 new computers over Spring Break--went from DOS to Windows--and it was HELL. They weren't networked correctly and they kept crashing, and the campus computer geeks wouldn't believe us. Students crashed trying to save papers, trying to print papers, etc. and the profs wouldn't believe them about why their work was late.

And to add insult to injury, the powers that be spent $20,000 on the computers and network floor, but nobody thought to buy mouse pads.

I do hope it gets better for you,

Anonymous said...

Computers are overrated. Would ayone complain if the books were 'busted'?

Lisa said...

Speaking of mouse pads . . . . Now, I am no neat freak (quit laughing, you, in the back), but ours at NP are gross. They've been slimed by sweaty, summery wrists and gummed up by elicit eating for the full 4 years we've been opened. They have got to GO. But rather than order a box from some office warehouse store, we await Offical System-wide Brand-imaged ones.

Anonymous said...

Wipe the mouse pads off with rubbing alcohol.