good old days

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Thursday, January 10, 2008
put them here

If I had a dollar for every person who said some equivalent of "life was better before those infernal machines" today, I would have AT LEAST five dollars! The computers went down at the library. This hasn't happened since I've been working there (which, granted, isn't that long), but I asked around and it has been YEARS since there was a system-wide failure. They were offline for a couple of hours. This was a bummer for people there to use the internet and for people who wanted to pay fines or renew stuff or do anything beyond the basic checking out -- but honestly, most people got the books they came for.

Of course that didn't keep some patrons from saying truly puzzling things like "I bet this makes you wish you still used the Dewey Decimal system!" My reply was "..." with an unspoken "WTF?" She figured that Dewey wasn't quite right so added "I mean card catalogs!" which STILL made no sense and no difference to how she was using the library today -- she still got to check out her 7 ninja yoga dvds or whatever -- we just wrote down her library barcode and then wrote down the barcode of her items to be entered later and sent her on her way. (another instance in which my old retail receipt writing experience came in handy. who knew?!) Another woman sighed "wasn't it better in the days before computers?" to which I was replying "not really," but kind of wondering if maybe that was just my opinion since I haven't worked there with it any other way -- but then one of the long-time staffers came by and just said "no, not at all" and I felt a lot better. I'm sure some things SEEMED better (or at least more quaint with the book-stamping and all) but in order to fully reap the benefits of a system and collection this large, a computer catalog is a necessity. Anyway. They were only down for a couple of hours and it did dissipate the tension from an obviously mentally disturbed young woman shrieking "ARE YOU MENTALLY DISTURBED?" to some poor guy who happened to say something to her. (she was waiting for a computer.)

Despite all that, it was a good day. I got to see one of my pals who dropped by the library (as it was her home branch and she had library business) which was a nice surprise!
3 comments on "good old days"
  1. I was trying to check my library information on line yesterday and was wondering why the web site couldn't be found...good to know I hadn't forgotten to type in the l or the b and just couldn't see the missing letter, since until just now that is what I thought had been happening. As far as the, "wasn't life better when ____", gosh. I have those moments almost every single day. I wouldn't apply it to computers, usually, but in some instances I agree. I do accept the fact that as I age I start to think about the "good old days", not that that they were good. Just different and maybe easier to understand. I miss rotary phones, but I do see that touchtone phones are faster. Faster and easier usually both apply only in rather skeezy cases, but I guess I can apply them here? I do, I confess this with JOY, still use index cards! They are rather pointless but they are so lovely...

  2. Yeah, the whole system went nuts and quit for a few hours. It wasn't your typing!

    I know what you mean about some of the good old days stuff, but a lot of the time it's just not true! Especially in this instance since she just wanted to check some stuff out. Anyway, I do love the index cards as well! They're my new favorite for taking notes at shows and readings since they are small and versatile enough to be discrete.

  3. I love the index cards! Erich bought me one of those new-fangled hand held digital "tape" recorders and it is awesome...but not discrete at all. He thought that it would be handy to record all of my ridiculous thoughts, as he thinks I should really get serious about writing something. I still have the thoughts but only when I don't have the recorder. And I have no thoughts when it is with me. I know. It is what it is. But that answer is not working for me anymore!!!


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