Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Who needs libraries? Miss Information knows the answer.

So, a writer named Terry Deary recently announced that libraries are obsolete. He's wrong about that, although he is correct that more people are reading digitally these days. Well, more people want to read eBooks at least. An awful lot of them struggle with the actual technology of it. 

That's where library staff comes into play. 

One day recently, Miss Information had to sort out digital library products with three different patrons. Exactly one of them was nice. Lady number 1 had a Kobo and she and Miss Information had a friendly chat about it while reviewing downloading procedure. 

Patron number 2 was a youngish gentleman who wanted to download an eAudiobook. He was needlessly hostile the entire time Miss Information was helping him. At one point she explained that this particular eAudiobook could be transferred to an iPod. He became enraged and launched into a tirade about the evilness of Apple. Miss Information agrees that Apple is slightly evil but they've never been as rude as this guy so if they were ever pitted against each other in a Death Race, she supporting them. Please note that the library wasn't forcing him to download to an iPod at gunpoint or anything. It was merely an option.

Patron number 3 was a woman with an iPad and a bad attitude. She wanted to know how to use Overdrive to get eBooks. Miss Information has an iPad but doesn't use it for eBooks because Apple is evil--or she  doesn't like the backlighting. One or the other. It took her a moment to refresh her memory about the device. The woman became impatient. "Who can help me?" she cried. "Find someone to help me." Impatient Lady meet Miss Information. Miss Information is actually helping you right this second if you'd stop whining long enough to notice. 

Miss Information discovered that the main problem Impatient Lady had was that her Wifi wasn't connected. Miss Information did what she does when she wants her own iPad to access Wifi. She tapped the settings button. Impatient Lady snatched the iPad out of her hands. "Do not touch the settings!!!! Ever!!!!! Is there someone who can help me?" Nope. You're stuck with Miss Information who, once again, is the person currently helping you.

Eventually she convinced Impatient Lady to connect to the library Wifi. "It is connected!" No, it wasn't. "Who can help me with this?" Sigh. Miss Information persisted and the woman walked out of the library with several fresh downloads for her vacation. She didn't say thank you and she probably doesn't realize how close she came to taking a stapler to the head, but downloading was achieved. 

It was a good day.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Miss Information cannot be allowed in civilized company

Miss Information screwed up at work last night which meant that today she went to Starbucks to use their Internet and coffee to repair the damage.

Because it was busy, she sat at an adjoining table with a nice young couple. She quickly realized that she doesn't know nearly enough about her flashy new computer, specifically about Windows 8--that pretty, but dysfunctional operating system."Oh, damn it all to hell!" she exclaimed at one point.

The nice young man half of the couple gasped in horror and quickly put away the phone he had just started to dial. Miss Information tried to explain that simultaneous typing and swearing had gotten her through graduate school but they didn't seem to believe her. Clearly terrified, they packed up and left very soon after.