This last line isn’t directed at librarians, but it is a key fact. But the idea that metadata isn’t private, and as such libraries should get better metadata from publishers is interesting (and should be given a try).
Let me tell you a story:
About six months after 50 Shades of Grey came out, I was manning the circ desk at work (a smallish public library). The book was at the top of its hype, and the wait lists were a mile long. A regular came in. He was absolutely fuming. He marched up to the desk, slammed the book down in front of me and said, “I would like return this book. Then, I’d like to have it removed from my wife’s record, immediately!”
I took the book, discharged it, and thought it prudent to explain to him that once we discharge a book it is automatically removed from all patron records. Obviously, he wasn’t aware, and I think that this is something all of our patrons should be aware of. I was very clear, but the concept was clearly beyond anything he was willing grasp in his current state. Suddenly, one of my co-workers snatched the book from me, ran it under the barcode scanner of a neighboring computer, clicked the mouse a few times at random (our circulation program wasn’t even running on that computer, this was just for show) and informed the gentleman that she’d removed the book from his wife’s record. The gentleman stormed out immediately.
Can I tell you how angry I was? That was a teachable moment, and my coworker blatantly decided to perpetuate—and even encourage—ignorance. Granted, it was a tricky interaction. She was obviously only trying to diffuse the situation. However, I repeat,I think that this is something all of our patrons should be aware of. Was it worth the quick fix to let this patron believe that we normally keep records? I don’t think so.
Patrons should be taught that library ethics demand user privacy. We should emphasize this constantly, not only in our professional circles, but also to the public. There should be signs in the library, and posts on social media. It should be prominent in the welcome literature that comes with every new library card. We should sing it from the mountaintops.
I was driving home from work, flipping through radio stations, when something on Z100 made me pause. Shocking, right?
It was the world premier of the new Backstreet Boys single. I may have screamed a little. It was an involuntary thing.
Then the song ended, and I wasn’t still 9 years old, after all.
What, you think I’ve been listening to Strapping Young Lad and Pavement since the day I was born? I was in elementary school once, too.
I’m still more metal/indie than you.
But I’m creating this one for the George Moss collection. !!!
I’m a huge nerd, so this is really exciting.
I felt a pang of jealousy. Yes, I admit it: I’m jealous of a book.
A heartening story about how the librarians of Timbuktu saved their books before their libraries were burned down.
This skirt WILL be gorgeous and it WILL have perfectly executed inseam pockets. Eventually.