Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Professional Reading

An Esteemed Colleague at the Area Library drew the fine site Dispatches from a Public Librarian to my attention. This Dispatch offers a concise tracking of computer problems that public librarians frequently fix. I believe I have handled cases similar to all but one of those in my two years and two weeks on the job. Last night I had:

Problem: The computer won't let me log on.
Solution: Librarian stands behind patron; she slowly, carefully, pointedly types in card number and PIN. System logs her on.

Problem: It's locked up.
Solution: Keep clicking the X on the pop-up box until it goes away, then continue work.

Problem: Tech Guy e-mails at about 8:10 p.m.: Oh, maybe the system that logs off all public PCs at 8:55 p.m. [glorious system!] didn't change to new Daylight Saving Time after all. Y'all should watch for that.
Solution: Don't let them smell our fear. Do closing announcement at 8:45 as usual, gently suggesting that PCs may not log off automatically, yet still we expect them to get their own durn fannies out of the chairs at 8:55. Then, sic Children's Librarian on them. Library empty at 8:58.

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