when will the internet be back?

Submitted by shoe on Sun, 05/23/2004 - 23:19

Honestly, I think after the week we've had, our logins exceeding the number allowed by the temporary license was a real good thing. I think we all needed the sanity break.
Of course, technology has a place in the library, but I think it's reached a crisis point where I am. I realized how much what I do is tech support... Why can't I reach Google? Why can't I save this document? Why is this computer so slow? And whereas I think computers in the library are fine when people are doing legitimate things, like looking for jobs, or even talking to family members in other parts of world, I feel like a lot of our bandwith is sucked up by people sending pictures of sneakers and hot chicks to the kid sitting next to them.
And honestly, not all the librarians agree with our policies on the internet. So they don't enforce it. So the people get mixed messages, and my machines take a lot more abuse than they should. I have made a new rule for myself. Never, never, never, will I ever put a new machine out on the public floor again, with perhaps the exception of a Mac, which actually seem more durable than PCs.
People hate the Macs. I think I know why. For the same reason they hated my Linux box. It's damn near impossible to really get into any trouble on them. Of course, we have some real old Macs too. The newer ones I want to slowly upgrade to Panther, the older ones... Well, if the staff hadn't needed computers so badly, I would have bought a couple of iMacs or eMacs, whichever looked sturdier and harder to walk off with (the new iMacs are visually stunning, and because of this I wouldn't trust them not to get stolen).
I am the systems librarian. I love technology, and I like people to learn about technology. It makes my job easier. I like people that are willing to learn. However, the word librarian does appear in the phrase systems librarian... And I also like to help people find books, should they be more appropriate (and often times they are). I like to have peace in my library. I like my patrons to be able to use the computer, and I like them to feel like it's safe, comfortable place to do so. That is, I don't want a pack of people standing around staring at them while they use the computer.
Does anybody's library use privacy screens, and has it really helped patrons feel more secure?
That being said, I don't want them feeling too safe. It's unbelieveable how many people willing put credit card and bank information in a public access terminal.
So all day Saturday, and I expect all day tomorrow, I am faced with people asking, "When will the internet be back?" Right now I'm shooting for Tuesday morning, but I make no guarantees. It depends on how quickly the licensing can get moving. And I tell them, "Right now it looks like Tuesday morning, but it depends on when tech support gets back to us." There's not a tech problem, at least, at this point, there doesn't appear to be. But I'm not going to tell them it's working and that there's a licensing lapse. I do wish the software threw up a bit of a warning that I was approaching the limits. Or perhaps it did and no one told me. But I don't think so.
I still have yet to configure my new software. I've figured out how to configure it, but I'm having a hard time getting it to actually work off the bat. I've emailed tech support, who tried to sell me another product (which we already have) and they sort of blew off my question.
I'd like to disable minimizing the browser window. Kids like to minimize when they're looking at something they shouldn't and I walk over.
If I could get the Word Processors (once we can manage to replace them) on the print station that would make my day...