Sunday, August 16, 2015

They told me you know how to work these machines...

said an older woman with brown hair. I never say "yes" to this because you never know if it's a website outside of your control or something else, so all I said is, "Let me see what I can do to help. What is it doing or not doing?"

"It's doing something not kosher!"

Turns out her husband was being asked by some online account of his to do one of those 'prove you're not a spambot by identifying which of these pictures has a horse in it' tests in order to log in, and he was alarmed and confused.

In other news, our new security guard told a guy with an apple at the computer with him that he had to put it away because the library has a no food policy. The man responded, "I'm not eating it!" and the security guard calmly repeated, "You need to put it away, sir." So the man flung the apple as hard as he could into a trash can.

And, in news you can use, a reference question caused me to find out that a law called The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires the big three credit reporting bureaus to provide consumers with free copies of their credit reports once a year. If you want to get yours, start at this .gov website to make sure you're going to the real source: (A modern reference librarian's favorite question: "How can I tell if this website is trustworthy?")

Other questions I fielded today:

What is in between the regular shelves and the hold shelf? I think my books are there.

How much money is a roll of nickels? (Follow-up questions: "That's all!?...Where is the nearest ATM?)

Man registering on a website he hasn't previously use: How do I know what my password is?

What language do they speak in the U.K.? Old English?

I also eavesdropped a woman about my age commenting to a stranger in the elevator: "This library is really old!"


  1. A better, more memorable URL for the government's free credit report system:
    It's run by the three credit agencies to comply with government regulations.

    1. Definitely true! However, I didn't trust the site when I first saw it (neither did the patron, surprisingly!) so I started at the dot gov site, which links to the annual credit report dot com site. Of course the site you mentioned explains what it is, but verification never hurts.