Friday, December 27, 2013

Ereader season

Today all the questions are basic. How do I get on a computer, how do I print, this thing keeps spitting out all my money, why did my copy not work--mostly text-to-speech things as usual. One of our patrons with some mental disorders, a very nice man just quite slow, doesn't actually want help, just to say hello and shake my hand. The guy sitting next to him who needed 45 seconds to think of whether he had an email address says "He's my neighbor!" but I don't know if he means that they live next door to each other or just that they are sitting at adjacent computers. Either way it looks like the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

I dread the weeks after Christmas at the library because they are the beginning of tax season and got-this-ereader-for-Christmas season. Tax season should be more under control than it was last year despite my anger at the lack of Spanish-language tax forms but I can never keep up with all the different e-readers. We have a vendor called Overdrive that supplies our ebooks, and this is the basic process to read an e-book:

1. Look in our catalog for e-books and realize that that doesn't work.
2. Go to the library website and use that to link to our library's overdrive site
3. Search for the book you want. FInd that we don't have it because our collection is pretty small.
4. Select a different book. Check it out in the incorrect format.
5. Be confused that the book hasn't automatically appeared on your ereader. Realize that you have to download the book as an extra step even though it is already checked out to you.
5. Realize the format doesn't work with your e-reader and repeat step 5 with a different format.
6. Realize that you don't want the book you have finally managed to download, then call the library to ask how you can return it.

Normally old men are my favorite patrons but for some reason middle-aged people all seem to think that it's a GREAT idea to buy ereaders for their elderly parents, so now I am watching all approaching old men warily for signs that they are carrying Nooks, Kindles, or something even worse.

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