A few days back, a mom and her daughter were in to check out some books. Once daughter had her selection chosen, Mom told her to take em up to the desk to check out.
"But I don't have my card," Daughter said.
"Oh, it's all right. You don't need it here," Mom said.
C smiled at this and politely said, "That's right. At the moment you
won't need your card. But in a couple of months when we have our new
computer system you will need your card to check out books."
"Whaaaat?" Mom said in a shocked tone.
C explained that this was going to be a new requirement with the new
circulation and cataloging computer system. Reason being, all the
liberries in our multi-county liberry cooperative are going to be
combining their patron records in order to more efficiently serve the
public. This means every patron in all of those libraries will be added
to one central database which all the libraries will access. So instead
of us looking up a patron and seeing only those patron's in our
library's database, we'll see all of the library cooperative's patrons.
If your name is John Smith, it will be vital to have your card so that
your books don't get stuck on some other John Smith's patron record and
so that guy's don't get stuck on yours.
feature of this new collective database is that it will be helpful in
keeping track and punishing deadbeat patrons (*cough*cough*cough*THE FAGINS*COUGH*!)
At the moment, if a deadbeat patron wants to fill up their card with
books at our library, they can turn around and go down the road to Town
C's library and fill up there too. When we get the new system, that
deadbeat patron will be in for a surprise as it's all gonna be one
record. And when their books are overdue by several
weeks/months/years/decades they'll also find that they won't be able to
simply shun one library and continue checking books out at the others
cause it's, all together now, one big happy database.
And when super-deadbeats like Kammy K
abuse their interlibrary loan privilages, they'll find they're blocked
at not only their local library... but ALL REGIONAL LIBRARIES TOO!
In fact, the only major drawback to this
(other than the almost certainly inevitable fact that this system will
NOT work properly for the first several weeks/months/years/decades after
it goes online) is that we're going to have to issue new cards to all
of our patrons. On the upside of that, we're not going to reissue cards
to everyone in our current database, in the same manner we had to
rebarcode every book in our collection last summer. Instead, we'll just
do it one at a time for the folks who regularly come in, building a new
patron database from the ground up. Their cards will be good at all
libraries in our cooperative, so they'll only have to get one and won't
have to keep being entered into everyone else's.
sure there are going to be intense headaches to follow all this, because
nothing this complicated can go smoothly. But hopefully, the pluses
will outweigh the many minuses I foresee.
And I can rule them all with an iron fist.