Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Rules of the Library #10: Donating Bootlegs and Counterfeit items.

42 Examples of Copyright Piracy
Rules of the Library #10: Please do not donate counterfeit or bootleg copies to the library.

Last week, some thoughtful patron donated these bootleg Chinese/Hong-Kong movies.  One of the librarians wanted to put it in the book sale but had an inkling that these might be fakes so they put them on my desk to look at first.  The explanation process was akin to when I explain to my parents why that email about asking for their PayPal account information is phishing for the fifth time (spoiler alert: they have never had a PayPal account nor do they know what it is).

I chose a movie at random, took it out of its cheap paper sleeve, and popped it in my PC.  I do admit that the print quality of the DVD holders is pretty high, but the print on the DVD's themselves looked pretty bad, that and they were in cheap plastic sleeves.  When I was skimming through the movie, I pointed out the extremely poor quality of the video, it was like watching a 3D movie but without the glasses.  If that wasn't enough for a dead give-away, the watermark of the Chinese pirate site embedded in the movie was.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Library Comic Episode 2: The Library aka Public Tech Support.

With Christmas, excuse me -- the holidays, around the corner, I am bracing myself for the onslaught of newly acquired e-reader induced questions at the info desk.  Last year, the Kindle won the question competition, it wasn't even a fair fight.  My bet this season, the questions will be more varied among tablet/e-reader manufacturers.

The download process has not changed since last year, but I do know that some of my info coworkers are not the most tech savvy and still struggle when it comes to these reference queries.  They also like to hit my extension and call me out from the backroom to help them out so I have to mentally prepare myself.  If you thought some older librarians were hardcore Luddites, some of these patrons that come in make them look like Steve Wozniak.

There are certain times when fielding particular tech questions from patrons can be difficult.  Patrons have asked me for my personal recommendation on everything from doctors, printers, tablets, cell-phones, and automotive body shops.  Don't worry, I stick to "The Librarian Code" and remain unbiased.  Although some patrons don't get the hint when I tell that even though that "e-reader/tablet" they found at their local pharmacy bargain bin while waiting for their prescription fill, might seem like a great deal.  They'll end up paying more in the long run when their tablet fails in a couple of months.  I always tell them to go to a store and play around with all of the tablets to see which one they like best.

The library system I work at also has a no touching policy, which means hands off the patron's electronics you dirty, dirty minded people.  The system doesn't want to be in any way liable for any damage to patron's stuff.  It can get pretty frustrating when patrons can't quite maneuver their touch-pads and you're standing right next to them telling what to click on in order to log in to the library's WiFi or walk them through the whole e-book download process.  If it is this hard assisting patrons who are physically in the library, imagine what it's like trying to help patrons over the phone.  Remote desktop access must relieve stress in IT departments, they can see and control what the end-user sees instead of running down the script of questions, "Is it turned on? Is it plugged in?  Is the power on?  Did you try turning it off and on?"

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Death of Gangam Style... Libraries take note.

Yeah, Gangam Style was the ish when it first came out, but now it has died a quick death to overexposure.  Just look at how many "parody" videos are out there.  This video is perfect symbolism of its death rattle.

So to all you libraries and librarians out there, from here on out, you are NOT ALLOWED to make any video parodies using anything related to Gangam Style: dancing, music, etc.

Monday, December 3, 2012

TIL: the subject heading for Bridge.

The subject heading for the card game Bridge is "Contract bridge."
The patron also wanted a first hand recommendation on bridge book for beginners, but unfortunately none of my coworkers could personally vouch for the two books we had on the shelves.