Theses things occurred during the last hour that I worked the reference desk.
1st Patron was actually being helped by my co-worker( She's new to the department, but not
the profession or this library system--old as dirt)
The patron was asking how she would go about using her USB Flash Drive because she
hadn't used one before. She then wanted to know how she could use one of the public
computers to transfer her documents from her floppy disk to the flash drive.
Insert the dumb look on my co-worker's face when she turns to me and asks, "Do you know what she is refering to?" (Thanks Tam)
At that point, I took over the reference question. I took the patron to the wordprocessing terminals and showed her where she would insert both the floppy disk and the flash drive.
The patron then asked me if a librarian would be able to show her how to transfer the information. I explained to the patron that we haven't been trained to do that and if anyone
is familiar with the process, it is because they have done it with their own documents.
The patron then asked, " Well is there anyone whose sole job is to show patrons how to transfer documents on the public computers"
I told the patron that that isn't the role of the librarians; but like I said before those who have done the tasks in question themselves, may be able to assist patrons.
The next question was, "Do you know how to transfer files from floppy to flash drive."
I told the patron that I didn't, and I don't own a flash drive.
Patron: "Well, do you know which librarian's have experience transfering documents? I mean,
do you know any names or what floor anyone with that experience might work on?"
I explained once again, "We are not trained to assist the patrons in the transfer of data, but you
might luck up and find a librarian who is."
Patron: "I still don't understand the difference in the computers or the floppy drives and the
flash drives, and how to use them with the computers."
Once again, I explained to the patron how she would use both on the computers and the difference between the two.
Patron: "Well, I don't have the flash drive or floppy disk with me today, I just wanted to know
what to do!" ..............................And, she walked away.
Patron: Can you help me to find a book about "coming out?"
I searched the online catalog and finally found a title that was supposed to be on the shelf. Most of the titles I found were reference and he wanted something he could checkout.
As we were walking to the shelves to search for some books, the patron said to me, " I don't want a book with more that 100 pages." (English seemed to be his second language)
Patron: "If the book has more than 100 pages, I won't be able to understand it."
The book wasn't on the shelf, so I sent him to another desk where they would retrieve the books from the shelves in the staff area.
The patron comes back to the desk. Patron: "I don't want a non-fiction book, because I'm
already out. I want a fiction book no more than
I changed the search and found some fiction titles for him to choose from. I found two books with less than 200 pages, but he seemed happy.
Damn, just reading about those two patrons made me tired. The next time you get a, how to, question tell the patron to google it or go to, ask yahoo.com.
Kim, the problem is that most of these people won't look up the stuff on their own.
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