Highlights include Richard Ackerman’s comment:
Of course we let our patrons use staplers! We just require they take training in the use of advanced stapler features first
and Jenny’s response. As usual, she’s spot on:
And we call it a collation tool that you have to reserve in advance and show a library card to use. Then we make you use it in the designated collating area, where no more than two people can be at any one time. Removing the collation tool from the collating area will result in an immediate suspension of all collating privileges.
Users are allowed to collate up to 30 pages or 10 sets before they must surrender the tool to the next patron in line. If no one else is waiting, the patron may continue to use it for an additional 15 pages or 5 sets. Patrons may not exceed 60 pages or 20 sets in any one 24-hour period. Failure to observe these rules will result in the immediate suspension of all collation privileges. Staff will refill staples in collation tool within 24 hours of the first written report of an empty cartridge.
Collation tool hours are 9:16 a.m. – 8:44 p.m., Tuesday – Thursday. Classes in basic and advanced stapling are offered in January, June, and October.
JanieH links to a post on “Library Garden” which asks the great question, “Have you considered the price you are paying by punishing the majority of your good customers to deal with a few of the bad?” It also links to an amazingly titled bit from “Pop Goes the Library:” Red Tape = Patron Kryptonite
All of this is feeding into what I decided was going to be my theme for this year: Let’s Make Libraries Easy. I’m not a big fan of when people throw their arms up in the air and proclaim, “Libraries can’t be everything to everyone” because, duh, it’s a totally obvious statement. What I really dislike about the phrase is that it seems to discourage innovation and prevents us from striving to do the best we can. Right? “We can’t be everything to everyone so we probably shouldn’t try this new service.” “It might be nice to have IM clients installed our our PACs, but we can’t do everything.” Concentrating on the fact that we can’t be everything to everyone will lead us to become nothing for nobody. So instead, let’s think locally. We can be, and often are a heck of a lot to our communities. And I don’t mean communities in just the geographical sense.
We can’t maximize what we can do for our communities unless we stop with the passive-aggressiveness and make nice library signage, reduce barriers to service and think about our libraries from a non-librarian perspective.
Here are five things you can do this week to make your library a better place:
- Let people bring drinks into your building. Let that group of high schoolers studying together eat the cupcakes they brought in. They might even offer you one. If they do, take it. It’ll make you seem human.
- Communicate with your users who IM.
- Let patrons plug their digital cameras into your computers.
- By your DVD collection, have hold slips filled out with the info for popular films. They’ll just need to write in their name and hand it to you.
- Allow kids to bring their skateboards in the library
The next time you’re involved with making a decision in your library, please consider the needs of your users. My thanks go out to all of the library workers – shelvers, administrators, IT geeks, janitors, catalogers and everyone else – who are working to make their libraries easier to use.