Saturday, September 04, 2004

Country Hills Library

The Country Hills Library opened today. It was complete chaos, it was packed, and nobody was being quiet at all.

Tracie pointed out to me the fact that not a single patron in the entire library had less than 10 books. It was obvious to me that a high percentage of the books rented on the opening day would not be read. It was as if the people had never been to a library before, as if they didn't want to miss out on that special book.

They had three people just to sign people up with new library cards, because of the demand. Then there was the check out line. It must have been 15 people long. I was sad about that because I only had two books to read. Luckily Tracie noticed that they had self check out terminals.

I went over to look at them, one hadn't been set up yet, but a guy had just finished setting the second one up right as I arrived. I was the first person to use it. That self check out made my week. It would have taken a really long time to get through that line.

The self check out got me to thinking about Librarians. Not only are they losing patrons to the internet, they are slowly being made unnecessary by computers in the actual library. Build a machine that can shelve books, and we won't even need librarians anymore. They could just play a cd of someone saying, "shhhh" on repeat over the intercom, and voila, a completely automated library.

-Gary Milner

No comments: