Technology Made Someone Else's Life Easier. I'm Not So Sure About Mine.

>> Monday, September 21, 2009

Well, against my initial judgment, I've managed to adapt to many "simplifying" tools of modern technology. I use a DVR and have given up on live TV (other than football), I text message (although I still think it's faster to call), and I can't live without my GPS.

The library, though, has caused me more trouble than I think modern technology is worth. I've gotten used to checking books out myself using the scanner. I wasn't sure I would, to be honest, because the machine we first had at the library at my old law firm didn't like me, and I got a bit gun shy. The one at the county library seems to have a better temperament ... or at least less of an objection to me. I think it has to do with the librarians standing behind the desk ready to smack them if they misbehave or take over if I start doing something wrong.

So, at our county library, I use the scanner to check out a book, and instead of getting a card, or a stamp, I get a receipt (if I push "Yes" when the computer asks me if I want one). This receipt gives me the name of all the books I've checked out, and the date they are all due. The first trick is to make sure I hang on to the receipt and leave it somewhere conspicuous so I know when I need to take the books back or renew them.

Then there is renewing. I get this neat reminder from the library that tells me (on my email) that my books are due in 3 days, then another one telling me the books are due TODAY. That is where I am right now -- with one library book of mine and two of Toddler's due today. I can renew online, if I have my library card, or I can return them. The trouble is, I'm not sure what to do. I'm not done with them yet. But if I renew them online, then I won't even have a receipt to tell me when they are due. I'll just have the online email reminder service.

I don't know ... I just can't get past not having a card in the back of the book anymore. (And not only don't I know when the book is due, I have to BYOB, too. No, no, that's "Bring Your Own Bookmark." Be sensible. We're talking library books here.) One time when our home internet connection went down for a week, I missed a notice and logged on in time to see my overdue notice come in with confirmation of how much my fine was accruing.

See my dilemma? I'm betting I could return them, go to the shelves, and just check out the same book but a different copy. That would probably work, eh?

While we're on the subject of library books, I have a question. I know we were all taught to be careful with the books and to treat them with respect. But, be honest. I want to know -- do you treat your own books better, or the library's books? I'm notoriously hard on books in the first place -- so much so that I have several books that even I'm not allowed to look at without sitting in my living room, sans drink or food. I'm just wondering what the average Joe(sephine) would do in my case. Do you take your own book to the hot tub, or do you take the library's? I suppose we could ask, WWJPD (What would JoePa do), since he dedicated a library, but he'd probably say there is a time for reading and a time for hydrotherapy. I'm not that one-tracked, nor that saintly. I'll be taking a book, even if I toss it on the towel for later. I don't know ... the other folks in the hotel's hot tub might be dorks I'd rather not talk to.

Well, I'll go flip a coin now. Until next time ....


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