I apologize in advance for the dorkiness of this post.
I’ve been working at McKeldin Library since August ’03, and there have been some things I have noticed, on the first floor in particular, that seem to be throwing patrons off in the wrong direction. Furthermore, there have been changes in the way we run things in these three years that were initially supposed to help patrons, when they really just complicate things. So at least just for me, I need to list this stuff which confuses the average patron and that has been quite frankly getting on my nerves. I’ve arranged this in question format (haha):
1. Why is the sign for the Information and Research Desk not facing the front entrance where people can actually see it?
I cannot tell you how many people come to the circulation desk thinking it’s the information desk. Probably because the circulation desk has this BIG ASS space and the information desk is this small square sitting in the middle of the first floor. It’s right in front of you when you walk in, but it doesn’t even say the word “Information” on the front, so how are people supposed to know it’s there? Don’t get me wrong, circulation definitely needs that space for the different departments we have (ILL, Billing, Course Reserves, etc.) but unless they clearly display where the info desk is people will be more inclined to direct info desk-related qs to us.
2. Why does the sign pointing to the copy card machine say “Copy Card ATM” when in reality there is no ATM and there actually never WAS an ATM in McKeldin?
Everyone thinks there’s an ATM machine in McKeldin, and it’s hard to blame them for thinking so when there’s this huge sign with the letters “ATM” tacked at the end. This is very misleading, and if I were either 6 feet tall or had a ladder I would tape a piece of paper over those letters.
3. Why don’t the self-checkout machines desensitize books so the alarm doesn’t go off every five nanoseconds?
There’s more than one question I can think of for this godforsaken contraption but I went with this one. I think you can tell I was never a fan of the self-checkout machine to begin with, but if they’re going to have them they need to do the task they were designed for. If they can’t even do that, then they need to get rid of them. To have someone use the self-checkout (provided you have a barcode that isn’t already faded) then go through the security gate and set off the alarm and come back to one of us so we can desensitize the book manually totally defeats the purpose of having them. The only time I actually enjoyed looking at a self-checkout machine was when one of them was broken and a fellow student employee of mine taped a picture on it of a sad unicorn with the words “Out of Order” in bold print above it.
4. Why does this university make you pay $1.00 for a copy card, yet only gives you 20 cents left over to make copies/prints?
Not only is this a mouthful to say to people when they’re purchasing a print card for the first time, but it’s just so damn wrong. If that were me, I’d be like “Uhh…so where’d the other 80 cents go again?” I’m surprised no one’s really questioned it much since I’ve been here. I think it’s because they’re too busy looking for someone to give them a dollar bill for their four quarters so they can even purchase a card. So you can probably sense what my next question which is…
5. Why don’t we have a coin-to-bill machine?
Now, to be fair, this kind of machine might not even exist, but coin change seems to be the only money people ever have on them to make copies with. We at least tried and got a bill-to-bill changer but, by far, the most requests I’ve received are to transform someone’s four quarters into paper money. And we all know how broke I am.
You’d think after being there for three years I could think of more, but I think it’s the lack of sleep getting to me. Eating soup…then off to bed.