Things I never thought I'd say

Things I never thought I'd say (some redundancies here, some new. Skim as you see fit):

Honestly, I never thought I'd want to work in a library with a filter. The first library job I applied for had no filters, and I thought that was way cool. Now I'm wondering how they manage to keep complaints to a minimum and their computers running smoothly. Granted, our unfiltered terminal is a lousy P1 running Win98. It runs smoothly when it's off.

Now I want to throw a filter up on that baby. It's going to tick a lot of people off. But we don't put Hustler on the shelves for a reason, and I really think the computer should fly the same way.

I never, ever, ever thought I would hear myself say that.

Same thing with limiting time on the internet. It really ticks me off to see that Patron X has signed in eight times in course of eight hours for the internet. What do they do while they're waiting when we finally kick them off to give someone else a turn? They sit there in front of the reference desk and stare into space. For the love of crackers, people, this is a building full of books.

My husband Paul pointed out to me last night that what used to be about access for me has become about limiting access. Yes and no. Limiting access to a resource is opening it up to people who might not normally get to use it. It's no different than our policy to not renew books that have a waiting list. Enough harping, because I know I've harped on this before.

Today is my day off, but Paul is off table top war gaming (is this a geek house or what... he's off pushing fantasy army men across a board in a hobby store, and I'm a librarian at my computer using Linux) so I am going to be bored in about a half an hour. I figure when that time comes, I'm going to look for technology grants. I would like to bring some new computers into the library, honestly. Maybe be able to throw out that P1 chip box.

I've started taking inventory of all the dead boxes in the basement. I've removed memory from some, tried to get the CD ROM drives out of some others, but the way they're attached is making that a might bit difficult on some. Some are so old if I'm lucky they're quad speed. Basically my rule of thumb is: if it takes a serial mouse, it gets thrown out. We have no replacement serial mice. Is it really worth finding and buying an adapter? If I go into RadioShack or CompUSA looking for one, are they going to laugh when I leave?

That means most of the stuff in the basement goes. It's all 486s and dot matrix printers that were donations, hence, probably didn't work in the first place. Perhaps I'll spend some time down there and pull one of those quad speed CD ROMs. Just to say I did.

The city now has an IT guy! He's going to help if we decide to go wireless. Not if, it's a matter of when. But right now, there are bigger fish to fry.

Comments

Shared frustration on public terminals

Our library has seven computers in the front of the library. Three are specificly designated for Internet access. Two are designated for the library catalog and proprietary databases only and two have specialized indexes on them.I'm actually not interested in filtering the three designated public access terminals -- mostly because no one browses Hustler at a specialized library. But I DO wish I had one of those "allow only these sites" for our other four computers. You know, something that would only allow the catalog terminals to reach our opac and databases page and the other terminals to only reach their LAN databases. As it is, all four CAN reach the Internet, but we don't allow the public to use those four for Internet access.Why? Because we have enough usage that ALL SEVEN could EASILY be monopolized ALL DAY for internet access and no one would be able to search our catalog or our specialized periodical indexes -- which do get used.While I'm much in favor of limiting public Internet access to those first three terminals, I do get tired of chasing people away from the other four, especially when all three public access terminals are in use and the others are empty. So, it would be nice to be able to physically restrict those computers to just the few things we want access from there. It would save hurt feelings for our Internet patrons while preserving catalog and database access for our researchers.

Things I never thought I'd say--about filtering

Welcome to the real world. It's called "growth."

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