Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Progress

We went to the library.

Before I rant I am not usually averse to technology. I do get a little testy however when it is supposed to do the job of a human better and quicker but doesn't. I am also rather partial to the idea of humans and find this kind of thing very upsetting. Still a machine with buttons is always popular with the under sixes and since we now have self service in our library we didn't have much choice.

So we now have shiny new machines where you return, renew and check out books all by yourself. Except of course it isn't all by yourself because you firstly need a library assistant to help you with it because it's too flipping hard.

It doesn't sound hard. You put all your books at once on magic shelf and the names magically flash up on the screen confirming you have returned them.

The trouble is we take children's books out mostly and since you can take out twenty on each card and I have two children some weeks the stack and weight of books can get a bit silly. You of course can't fit all of those on at once, even if you could manage to lift them. So we put them on a few at a time. Which was very confusing especially since Phoebe kept moving ones around from pile to pile. Eventually we were convinced we had scanned them all.

Unfortunately the machine didn't think so. Looking at the receipt (oh great an extra bit of paper) three books hadn't been registered. So we went through them again one at a time to find out which it hadn't logged. So that was much quicker then. Then the library assistant took the troublesome books off to be dealt with.

Then we had to lift the other books out and put them on the filing bookcase. I'm a bit anal when it comes to this sort of thing so I had to turn each of the twenty five books round the right way out and right way up to help the library assistants. Who are of course still very much needed in the library not least to explain the stupid machine to idiots like me. Anyway that took even longer.

On departure we scanned the books we wanted to take home. That was straightforward, apart from the doing it in bits and Phoebe pile interfering again. Then the machine gave me a receipt telling me when I need to return them by. So no chance of me being able to find said receipt in a few weeks time when I need to work out when to return them. It's a good job you don't get fined for late children's books. The machine didn't say goodbye or thank you. Utter rubbish.

Our library is lovely and it worked fine. But then who am I to know. You can't halt progress.

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