Sunday, June 9, 2013

This week in Reference June 6, 2013

This week in Reference June 6, 2013

We had a Marx Brothers moment in the library this week.

In the movie Duck Soup Rufus T. Firefly (played by Groucho Marx) is handed a report from the Minister of Finance and says:

Clear? Huh? Why a four year old child could understand this.
Run out and get me a four year old child, I can't make head or tail out of it.

The Library got a new computer and card reader to control public printer. We put signs up to inform the students how to use the machine. The place to put their printer pay cards has a big arrow pointing to the slot. On Thursday a student brought her four year old to the library and wanted to print. The student looked confused and asked me where to put her card. The child was pointing to the place. I told her to look where her daughter was pointing. Sometimes it takes a four year old to understand the obvious.

As a community college we let outsiders come in to use the computers. One outsider asked for help with e-mail. One library staffer offered to help. The session took 45 minutes. The person could not understand how to use his password. He refused to remember or write down the password. The library staffer was very patient, but after the patron left he was glad. Sometimes it takes the patience of Job to deal with adults who seem to have the knowledge of a 5th grader. (Opps! That is a TV reference. )

Another outsider brought a DVD to view on our computers. He had been here before and I told him that his DVD was too worn to be usable. He insisted that he cleaned it and he saw it “last night at my nephew’s house.” First I had to show him how to get onto the computer. He needed to type the password which is found on the computer, “Library.” He could find the first letter, “I” on the keyboard. Yes that is not a typo; he thought “library” started with “I.” One can copy the password without know how spell. I typed the password, since I know some of the computers were having problems with the network connections.

The computer could not read the disk. I looked at the disc and found it was so worn, the tracks were no longer visible and there was a crack in the hub. I showed him a new DVD so that he could compare. He still thought the machine was the problem and not his disc. He tried three more computers and even asked some students to help him. He refused to believe that his disc could be a broken. This though I could repair the disk; I can’t. Then he saw the binder that had our DVD collection. He wanted a feature film. We only have DVDs that are connected the curriculum. We have no videos solely for entertainment.

Here are pictures of DVDs; the left side is scratched and the other is new. The new one is so reflective that the image of the camera is visible.


 A psychology student asked for help with the first class assignment. The assignment was aimed at getting students to look up information in the library databases. The teacher told the students to look for articles in PsychInfo from ProQuest. Since the library does not have a subscription to this database, I guided the student to Academic Search Premier. The first question was to find an academic article written by someone with your last name. The student said no one has my last name since I’m from Nigeria. She searched her name and received more than 1600 hits; many were psychology articles. To contrast – I searched my last name and got 23 hits; ten were written by me.

I wonder what next week will bring?

1 comment:

Marian said...

Sounds exactly like my day on a public library reference desk!