Thursday, March 13, 2008

How is a Raven Like a Writing Desk?

I know how a raven is like a writing desk: Neither one of them subsidize your lack of office supplies.

I'm going to quickly list things that I shouldn't have to do for you. Trust me, it's better if I don't.

I should not have to find you a passage to read for your church service, change the text size so you can read it, and delete the source it came from so you can hand it out without that web address.

I should not provide you with staples, paper, tape, scissors, or any other office or school supply that you forgot to bring with you today (and no, the library does not have poster board you can use!).

I should not find you a book of extremely detailed instructions on how to start and operate your specialized (obscure) small business.

I should not have to tell you that you will not get a free X box for clicking on the link.

I should not have to tell you what your password is.
I should not have to tell you how to make a fire, or do anything else on Runescape.

I should not have to proofread your resume, college scholarship essay, homework, grant application or divorce forms (or type them up for you) and make sure the formatting is correct.

I should not have to design your business/event flyer.

I should not have to teach your child math or help him with his homework.

I should not have to tell you what tax forms you need.

I should not have to tell you what divorce forms you need.

There are several other things I am borderline on. These include: show you how to change the layout of your myspace profile. Show you how to upload photos to myspace. Show you how to download music. Show you how to buy something on Ebay. Show you how to sell something on Ebay. Show you how to use Craig's List. Show you how to apply for a job online. And many more.
The reason I am borderline on these is that I know you probably need them and there is no immediate harm in them, but it's the future needs that scare me. If you need an e-mail address to apply for the job, it's pretty certain they're going to expect you to know how to check it. If you are going to sell something on Ebay, are you going to need a paypal account? Then what happens if you can't access that again? Do you see a trend.

What I can do is get you resources to show you how to do these things. They will require learning and time on your part. But then you won't ever have to ask anyone again.


Shawna said...

You know another thing you shouldn't have to do??? You shouldn't have to ask someone to get their child to stop screaming!!!

Anonymous said...

The only homework help should be finding reference material or a book for a report or something.

And, yes, the public expects ALOT from their public librarians, sometimes TOO much, however, we have traditionally helped patrons above and beyone the call of duty so maybe that's why they expect it. Nowadays, though, alot of timesit is for the seemingly trivial things such as you mentioned.

As for office supplies, I think it wouldn't be a horrible idea to sell a limited number of items as a money-making venture. Just like a coffee bar and reading area would be a nice and generate cash.

Metro said...

The oddest thing is that as knowledge resource workers like librarians have become increasingly disrespected (and by the same mechanism, scarce) those that are left have become more necessary for the actual librarianing.

Yet the library-using public, seemingly only the best of a damn-near post-literate society (and I must point out that I'm very worried I'm one of them) seems to lean more heavily on librarians to do crap that's totally out of their job description.

And oddly, when it come to funding, I'll bet they're the same folks who say "Why should we waste money on them? I can look stuff up for myself on the internet!"

Thanks for stopping by my humble abode, and good luck at not doing things in the future ;-)