trip update – bpl

I’m in Boston now coming to you wirelessly from Boston Public Library, after paying my respects to Mother Goose. Anyone with Mass residency [or who is willing to fudge it] can get a library card and a PIN that will get you on their wireless network more easily than when Jenny was here in June. The delight in this network is that you can pick filtered or unfiltered access, right up front when you enter your card number and PIN. And unfiltered, as near as I can tell is still really unfiltered. The big bummer, besides the guy who said “wait ten minutes til your number is activated” then left my application on a pile and went home, is the lack of Mac instructions on the configuration web pages, and no print instructions anywhere in the library that I could find. It seems to me that the more we treat technology like some sort of appliance that people should know how to use just like plugging in a toaster, the less it deserves a place next to the encyclopedias in the reference section. The more we treat new technologies like an extra reference source and place to go to get answers, the more we should have people available to assist our patrons in learning to use it, and use it well.