No Internet for You!

At the subtle and not so subtle suggestions of the assistant director and some other librarians, I have decided to leave the computers down till Monday. Unhappy patrons. Yes. But here's the thing: Friday and Saturday we're half staffed. Friday I won't be in at all, since it's my day off. That leaves me exactly one hour to train the staff on how to use the software tomorrow, and then we're all thrown to the lions.

Better to do it Monday, when I come in. I'll get it up and running, then I'll be there till closing. I'll close, then be there Tuesday morning to show people how to open. And we'll be full staffed, so that we'll all be able to spare the extra five minutes to help a patron having a hard time adjusting.

The assistant director had a good point. I need to have a canned speech ready as to why we implemented this software when patrons complain. I am thinking something like this:

After reviewing our system, it didn't seem like a particularly fair or democratic way of distributing access to people. We require cards because we require cards to check out books, and in all reality, people, when they use the internet, are checking out expensive and sensitive pieces of equipment.

Or something like that.

I think the patrons are going to be bummed when they see what our, er, upgrade was. I heard them say something about hoping it's faster access. Whoops. Well, yeah, in a way.For some people.

There won't be any real sure way to ensure that people only get on in two half hour slots... I am going to have circ record the numbers, so that we can do a visual check, but I fully imagine with human error that things will slip by. But if the same three people show up seven or eight or nine times a day, circ will notice.

Ooooh, cool of cool... I found the part of the software today that controls the language. So I changed the stilty "Put a code here that you will remember" to "Enter your name or unique identifier". It's kind of a tricky thing to change, but didn't seem to fudge anything up. It certainly seems clearer to me.

I need to get in tomorrow to disable ctrl-alt-delete (much thanks to folks at TechReport.com forums). Fortres does it just dandy in Win98, but it doesn't stick for Win2K. And I fear that some crafty patron will discover that by going to Task Manager they can stop the client program from running. If I can't get the entire key combination to disable, then I'll just disable the change password (although you need an administrator password to actually change your password, I believe) and Task Manager. If the silly rabbits log out or shut down, they're only making it obvious they're doing stupid things they shouldn't.

I'm learning to think like a crafty patron. That scares me.

Comments

Canned response

How about

"We're trying to weed out freeloaders (nontaxpayers from outside the area), and we're treating the use of the equipment the same as if it's being checked out. It's a limited resource, and we want to be clear that it doesn't come without a little responsibility attached. A library card isn't too much to ask."

How will they successfully argue that it is too much to ask?

crafty

"I'm learning to think like a crafty patron. That scares me."

Ah, don't be scared of it. Revel in it, enjoy it. It makes life a lot more fun!

Actually, it has a practical application. It will help you to outsmart your craftier patrons--you will learn to see the loopholes, etc that they see and you'll be able to stop them! Works amazingly well with kids...*G*

s/ (born crafty)

Re:Canned response

Pretty good, but I think I'd have to leave out the part about the nontaxpayers. This is a big sticking issue with us. We're in a network, and all cards in the network, regardless of what town you're in, work at our library. As much as I'd love to say that... Limiting based on that criteria alone is difficult. But I do like the idea. And the stress of responsibility. I think I'll use that line.

Re:Canned response

I was making a bad assumption about the system there as far as who "gets" a card that can be used at your library. AFAIK, I don't live in an area where there's such a broad access.

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