Thursday, July 06, 2006

Miss Information is tired of having this conversation

It was a beautiful summer day. The library was quiet and peaceful. All the computers were vacant. Miss Information was getting caught up on her looseleaf filing. Then she woke up, got dressed and went to work where it was a beautiful summer day. The earsplitting shrieks of children filled the air. People are stacked up on the computers like cans of soup. Miss Information had a headache.

A thousand times a day she gets to have this conversation:

Patron: I'd like to use the Internet.
Miss I: All the terminals are in use right now. You can book an appointment if you want.
Patron: I just need it for a couple of minutes.
Miss I: Oh, well, that's totally different, then. The computers that you can use for "just a couple of minutes" are in a secret part of the library that the children don't know about...no, wait, that's wrong. There are still no terminals available.

Miss Information wishes everyone would just go home now.

13 Comments:

At 5:52 PM, Blogger Peter Cain said...

Dear Miss,

I'm a LIS student in Portugal and I haven't started working in a Library, but I get a brainwash every week on every single class about THE AMAZING AND ETHICAL ROLE OF THE LIBRARIAN UHHHHH.

I read your posts with joy and although I would love to work in a library one day I secretly laugh in classes when I'm taking notes and imagining the teachers naked. But that's another story.

Thanks for turning the drudgery of your work life into a small joy.

 
At 4:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, there should be a secret room in the library that children can't get to.

 
At 8:30 AM, Blogger CT said...

Well, we always had one! :)
Seriously, though these were at universities we had computers that were for 15 min. only use. When no one needed them, people could work as long as they liked, but would have to vacate them if someone new came in. It worked rather well, however it would reduce the opportunity for witty comments on the blog, so perhaps it is better to not go down that path.

 
At 12:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sometimes customers ask if they can use staff computers for just a few minutes. Get lost I say!!

Chris

 
At 4:07 PM, Blogger Bibliophile said...

computers + children + summer = hell

 
At 6:04 PM, Anonymous Beth said...

Oh my god. Have you been spying on me???

Actually we have a system that works very well. The ten-to-fourteen-year-old boys are all part of a special library club where they earn "points" with basic niceties like not whining hysterically when their computer time is up and not hanging around their friends' computers - and for things like shelf-reading and carrying piles of books around for the staff. If they earn enough points, they get a special two-hour "kids' club only" time twice a month after the library closes to the public on Saturday, when they can run in circles and load up on sugar and hog the computers all they want.

Guess who (stupidly) volunteered to chaperone this madness? Of course, there are only about four kids who consistently earn the allotted number of points, and two of them are my offspring.

 
At 5:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, there should be a secret section of the library the children don't know about.

 
At 8:39 AM, Anonymous momdgp said...

The conversion at my library is usually thus:
"I need to use a computer."
"All the internet computers are taken. Would you like to put your name on the waiting list?"
"I don't need an internet computer, just one that has AOL."

 
At 3:12 PM, Blogger LBJ said...

Poor child wants to work in a library one day - doesn't get it does he/she.
Everyone knows why they only want AOL - this stands for a..holes on line.

 
At 12:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Miss Information,
What would you say to a library patron who decided to talk on his cell phone the whole time he used the internet?
He sat next to me and I could not hear myself think.
I complained to the librarian and said I was not sure what the rules were about silence or if there were any rules anymore. (I asked this politely, without sarcasm.)
She was kind enough to be annoyed and told the idiot to get off the phone or get off the computer.
Sterling professional, she, deserving of great praise.

 
At 4:23 AM, Blogger Marvelous said...

I'm not a librarian but I was a college student. And having three huge computer labs around campus there was still a need for actual computers. One thing I hated and makes me say, "thank God I'm out of there," is the time-and-again question of, "Will you be on the computer for long?" Every time that question was asked, I felt like pulling someone's hair out...literally! lol

 
At 12:53 PM, Blogger Stack Ferret said...

These are the same people who come in looking for a popular book (usually a classic) being studied by 95% of high school students at the same time. When told all copies are out, they give you attitude and say "But I need it for Friday." (Sometimes they're in as early as Wednesday.) Well, since it's YOU, I'll give you the copy I keep under my desk with the illuminated manuscripts and our first edition Shakespeares. (But don't tell anybody.)

 
At 12:54 PM, Blogger Stack Ferret said...

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