Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Hero to Zero all in the same day

Today was both a great day and an awful day. First, the great part; I helped catch a bad guy! This is what happened. Early this morning, my co-worker got a call from IT that one of our patrons was wanted by the U.S. Marshals for being a child predator, they had tracked him to using out computers and she was asked to keep an eye out for him. Although she recognized the patron's name, she couldn't remember what he looked like but fortunately since he comes in a lot, I was able to give an pretty good description.

Some time passes and a patron needed my help, so I went over to computer 5 to help him. Imagine my surprise as I'm helping the patron on computer 5 and I see that right across from him on computer 6 is,yep you guess it, Mr. Child Predator. After helping the guy on computer 5, I quietly alerted my co-worker that he was in the library and using the computer. She had me double check that it was him and she alerted the IT guy. The IT guy then called the U.S. Marshals who then came and very discretely escorted him out of the library without any problems.

Now on to the zero moment of the day. I had been having an enjoyable work day then my boss tells me and my co-workers that our computer policy has now changed. Before, a patron could only get 1 hour in our department and two hours in another department which equals 180 minutes a day. After a patron used their hour in our department, they couldn't get another hour but instead, they had to use the other computers on the third floor. If they were caught re-logging in after they'd already had their hour, they'd get kicked off the computer.Today we were told that this rule no longer applies and that patrons can re-log on to the computers after their hour is up and we can't stop them.

I think this is the stupidest idea I've ever heard! With this new rule, this means that a person can come and get 3 hours on the computer uninterrupted while others have to wait. Another issue with this is the number of kids we have that come in using myspace, this means we will probably have more complaints because people who need to do homework and type papers/resumes won't be able to cause they'll have to wait for kids to finish myspacing and playing games.

I guess my big question is where is this going to stop? I feel that the library and the powers that be are trying too hard to cater to the patrons.We already had a patron complain about "being forced " into having to get a computer card to access the computers and now this. I'm expecting any day now, we're going to be told not to enforce the no cellphone policy anymore because someone will be bothered by it. Either that or we're going to start letting patrons eat and drink at the computers.

Will this ever stop?

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