Saturday, August 07, 2004

Random negativity

So a patron comes up to a colleague at the Circ Desk and wants to check out a periodical, which here at Widener are non-circulating. My coworker tells the person as much and she gets agitated - never mind that this has been our policy for years now and that moreover it is a fairly common thing for periodicals not to circulate elsewhere. The patron then asks rather testily if she can leave the volume here at our desk for the night since she won't be able to read it all today; again my colleague tries to explain in as helpful a manner as possible that while patrons may no longer hold materials at the Circ Desk (until very recently they were allowed to do so), they are welcome to do so up in the Reading Room, and for twice as long to boot. None of this pleases the patron, however, who pronounces that our policies do nothing but "inconvenience the user" and that service here has gone "from bad to worse" before stomping away in a complete huff.

Um, okay. In such situations what else is there to say but, in the words of Apu from The Simpsons:

"Thank you - come again!"

Yeah- with its automated card catalog, online Interlibrary Loan, remote access to about a million dollars' worth of electronic databases and fulltext journals, recent acquisitions of Criterion edition classic and foreign movies, complete seasons of critically-acclaimed television on DVD, a collection of four milli0n plus books ready to be plucked from the open stacks, another seven all retrivable within a business day, and top-notch reference librarians ready to answer any question for anyone, not to mention the aforementioned 10-day hold shelf, this place has really gone to pot.

I don't mind constructive criticism. Compulsive criticism, however, is something you can just leave at the door.

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