appreciative patrons rock

Truly. I matched a lady up with a book yesterday, and she was thrilled. She was beaming and thanked everyone on her way out.

In the same vein, I had someone at the computers tell me that circulation wasn't terribly helpful in telling her how to get on the computers. Well, technically that's not their job, it's mine, and I wasn't available (I was in the closed stacks getting a book for a lady). I got her on. What puzzles me more is somehow she got two one time use numbers at once, which is a no no.

Circ staff has only a vague notion of how the whole timed access system works. I should have them sit and play with it, perhaps, but I really don't want them to have to do tech support, so perhaps it's better to, er, keep them ignorant. I do wish they'd tell more people about the Gatekeeper software. There's been a real resistance to using that. We actually had a fight break out (our first in weeks) because someone signed in on the Gatekeeper like she was supposed to, while someone who had been waiting longer didn't sign in. So when a computer came available, it was held for the woman who signed in, even though she'd not been waiting as long. After some lengthy explaining, the person who signed in gave up her appointment (nice of her, really) to the woman who'd been there longer. I wish there was a way to more prominently advertise that service. But I'm not sure how.

Signs don't work. I have signs everywhere over the Gatekeeper. Signs with big arrows saying "Sign in here". Having circulation pass out flyers explaining how to use the system didn't work well either. Tried that. Perhaps a huge sign over the computers in use would help. I find it's impossible to get our computer clientele to read -- anything. Signs, books, magazines. Anything. Even if it's to educate themselves about how to get on the beloved internet.

One librarian suggested putting big orange foot prints on the floor leading to the Gatekeeper. Heh.

Disgusting alert: Some patron handed me a library card after her little cherub sucked on it for a good two minutes. I made her wipe it off. Jeez, that was nasty. This was the same kid crawling around grazing on the carpet.

Comments

Brainstorming:

Try "You must sign in with our babysitting software if you want to use the computers," and hang it on doors or in bathroom stalls at "eye level" wherever that may be. People don't look up to see things, so eye level or below may get attention. Make sure the next library newsletter mentions it, and put it on the website in nasty neon pink letters or something unavoidable.

(Yes, you've probably tried all of these things, but I feel an urge to help anyhow.)

I like the bathroom and nasty pink letters on the website ideas! Perhaps a tutorial on the website wouldn't hurt.

The library newsletter is a good idea, with the unfortunate exception that we no longer have one. Otherwise that would be perfect. I wish that the internet was like reading... and you needed physical bookmarks. Then I could print it up on them.

You've got me thinking in a different direction though. Maybe I could give free something (um, books? We have lots of free books) to everyone that signs in correctly!

Cool, thanks, man. Something to ponder as I sit by the water garden for my moments of Zen on my day off!