Friday, December 7, 2007

When the Internet is Down

We quickly learn who our real constituency is when our Internet connection goes down. What is normally a bustling reference floor turns into a deserted expanse of empty tables and empty terminals. The very few who are in the library seeking information approach the reference desk with an apologetic "I don't want to bother you, but ..."

Well, actually, library staff gets paid to answer questions and to help put information/answers/books into your hands! Trust me, it's no bother! We're doing our jobs when we help you discover and use the rich array of resources the library provides. We'd love a chance to show off some of the neat stuff we've collected over the years and show you how to use them in the library and at home or work.

Our Internet connection went south a couple of days ago due to an equipment failure. While certainly not on the same scale as the bombing of Pearl Harbor (today's the 66th anniversary,) it nevertheless caused waves among our service population. It's been interesting to watch the reactions of our regular Internet users, which ranged from the resigned to the actively angry.

We all recognize that widespread use of the Internet and other online resources has fundamentally changed the way libraries offer materials and services. We hope, if you came to use the Internet and were disappointed, that you will stay a while and enjoy some of our other more traditional offerings: the Art of Glass exhibit in the lobby, the gingerbread house collection in Kids' Place, the newspapers and magazines on the third floor, the holiday books and videos on the first floor. We are looking forward to having a healthy Internet connection - and happy patrons - again. Very soon.

No comments: