Ignoring Patron Needs

My Minnesota traveling companion, Mary beth Sancomb Moran, on Abram, heads on spikes and public use PCs:

It still amazes me that there are librarians who are choosing to ignore the patron’s needs for their own convenience. Having been a library director, I get the issues that can arise and the fixes that are all too tempting to put into place. I sat at one of the public access computers one morning, removing the various and sundry programs that had been installed against library policy again, grumbling that if I ever found the culprit, I was going to put his head on a spike in front of the library as a warning to others. (The two teens sitting on either side of me looked a bit worried.) Once I had security measures put in place, however, I didn’t have those issues any more – all I had to do was reboot the machine and whatever had been done magically went away. Best $300 I ever spent.

The moral here is that there are programs out there that will help you protect the library’s server and data, while allowing the patrons to do what they need to do. It’s a matter of starting to think about how we can allow them to do whatever, rather than continually plotting to prevent them from doing whatever.