Librarian Ire

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Moveable stacks and neophytes

One of the bad things about working in an academic setting is that just as you get all the students trained they graduate and then a whole new batch of neophytes (a new convert, novice or beginner.) invade and you have to go through the whole thing all over again. The same mindless spiel about food, e-mail, internet porn, copy cards, printing, closing times and holidays. Sheesh, can't you read? We do have this posted ya dummies!
Forget mail carriers. Watch out for the academic librarians. Although going library doesn't have quite the same ring as going postal. Hmm, any ideas?
But I digress. The problem with the new students, other than the whole total cluelessness is that they screw up the simplest things. There is no idiot proof. Trust me.
Proof of this happened recently. We have moveable stacks in our library, as most libraries do now. They have nifty red metallic colored buttons that you pull and press to either lock or move the range you want. Easy right? I guess not. I was in the stacks doing ILL (no complaints today)and some newbie was looking for a book. I watched for a few minutes as she would press a button then move one range. And repeat it. At first I thought she was looking for more than one book in different areas. Not out of the realm of possibilities. Then I realized after witnessing this twice she wasn't going into the newly opened stacks just moving them.
Okay if that's how you want to get your exercise. But I was getting a little impatient at waiting for her to find her book and move along. Since she was blocking the one stack area that I needed.
So I offered the helpful hint on how to move many shelves at once. You would have thought that I revealed the secrets of the universe. Not that she believed me. So a little demonstration was in order. I popped the button and rolled the stacks. Pulled out my book and left. Sneaky, huh?
Just another heroic feat for Nike the Librarian.
Hmm, I think I need a better superhero title.

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