I am linking alll the libraries I visit this year under the visit06 tag. Here are two more.
The Hartness Library System at Vermont technical College – I am a frequent user of this library. It has the best collection of any of the libraries for the stuff I like to read — wonky non-fiction mostly — and it’s right by the pool where I swim. There have been few times that I’ve had to do something at the circulation desk where I wasn’t greeted by the puzzled face of a desk worker trying unsuccessfully to do something. I’m not sure what OPAC they use, but it seems to be complicated. They have no overdue fees which means when I’m not at the pool I sometimes keep books late. The last time I brought a book back quite late, I asked if I could renew it even though it was over a month overdue. The librarian — who had been called out to help with the OPAC because the nice lady at the desk couldn’t figure out how to check the book back in and then check it out again — asked me, while holding the book, “Well, how long do you think you’ll need it?” A legit question I guess, but I was really just asking about the renewal policy, I’m sure they had a policy. However, since it’s a small-town library, social concerns like how long I needed the book came into play. This is the good news and the bad news. I said I didn’t know, it was just a pleasure book anyhow, and decided just to put the book back on the shelf and come back for it another day. When I came back the next day, I checked the tag in the back – no one had checked the book out in six years besides me.
Tunbridge Public Library – I help this library out with computer things as part of my job. They have no web site. When I asked if they’d like me to make them a web site they said no, not really. They use dial-up and have a network so that four computers in the library can share it. There is no broadband service available in their town except for satellite which is prohibitively expensive. I sat around and we talked about teaching some basic email, digital pictures, and shopping online classes in the Spring. The librarian wanted some help with her email, she’d been getting email from Amazon about her account and it was confusing her. We looked at the email — a phishing scam which was what I suspected — and I showed her how to look at the web address in an email, and then mouseover it to see if it matched the web address in the browser status bar. I then showed her how to read a web address backwards, to start with the top-level domain to see where an email is really from, like checking caller ID to see what state someone is calling from. This was met with appreciative and happy exclamations and I got to drive home feeling like I’d really helped someone, just by telling them what i know about computers.