Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Library patrons we'd like to see hung up by their thumbs

Our Branch library manager shared with me her most recent annoying patron from hell story. The other night a young girl was in, using a public access computer to type up her homework. We have some time limit software on the public PC's and she had about 20 minutes left on her session. Everything is fine and dandy.

Then Ms. "I'm the most important person in the universe" comes up and demands to use the exact same computer. She wants to use that one because apparently the filter isn't working correctly (my to-do list item #101) and she knows that she can get to her email on that computer.

(Yes, that's right, we filter out web based email on our public computers. I really don't agree with this policy, but I'm stuck. We do have a few "email only" computers at the main library. My dream is that administration would wise up and allow at least email on every freakin' public PC.)

Anyway, the library staff tell her that the girl using the computer has about 20 minutes left and they would be happy to make her a reservation for right after the girl's time is up. But that's not good enough and the patron goes over to the PC and actually starts pounding on the keyboard.

So the girl's document gets totally screwed up and the staff tell the patron that she will have to leave. The manager didn't exactly tell me how they got rid of the patron, but she left when the staff refused to let her even wait in line after that. In the meantime, the girl starts to cry because she's just spent 40 minutes typing her homework and it's all messed up.

Well, kudos to the Branch staff!! They got rid of the patron and worked were able to recover the girl's document, so at least she didn't have to start from scratch.

I know that public services staff probably have much worse horror stories, but I just had to share this one. It's really got me riled up and it's making me lose faith in humanity.

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