Thursday, January 31, 2013

too long for a tweet

If the sense of entitlement that people have regarding ebooks was somehow transported back in time, it would have our patrons calling us each time they found a word in a book they didn't understand.

Which they did, now that I think of it. But not nearly as many would have called as those who call about every tiny aspect of their ebook devices.

So what would be comparable between NOW and THEN and how would the libararian have handled it?

"I downloaded the wrong ebook."
Oh, that's okay; it happens. I'll fix it for you.
THEN. [Possibly pre-1980 library.]
"I checked out the wrong book."
What? Are you a fucking idiot? You had the book in your hands for probably five minutes and you waited in a line to check it out and then you gave your library card to a library employee, and at no point during this time did you question whether this was the wrong book? What the fuck happened when you got home? The book didn't keep the table from wobbling? What the fuck made it the wrong book? What new information do you have when you got home that told you it was the wrong book? What an asshole. Can you understand this makes you look like an asshole? Yes? Okay, which book did you mean to borrow? Okay, let me got get it. I'll hold it here at the desk and since this is the past, gas is probably pretty cheap, so you can drive back over here and get it. Don't forget to bring the other book with you! Oh, no, you will forget. So go put it in the car now. Then go eat your lunch or whatever you need to do that will somehow cause you to forget to come and pick up this book. It's okay; I have nothing better to do than carry books back and forth to the stacks. Fuck you.

"I downloaded the book, but I can't find where it went."
Oh, that's okay; it happens. I'll find it for you.
"I just checked out a book, but I can't find it."
Did you call the police and file a report? Because the library will block your account if you don't return that book or if you don't give us a copy of the police report. And when we block your account, it stays blocked. Forever. Even if the library ever gets computers and you think that the records will just start all over again, they won't. Or even if you move away for ten years and then come back, you'll be blocked. We remember these things because a librarian never forgets the asshole who loses a library book.

"I just got this ereader, but I don't know how to use it."
"I just checked out this book, but I don't know how to use it."

[Past and Present librarians, in unison, as the time-streams merge.]
Give me that so I can beat you to death with it. Asshole.

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