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Head Meets Desk (Part Two)

Part Two man staring frustratedly at his computer monitor(You can see Part One here.)

Last time on MeanLaura, I shared stories from library IT staff about moments they had with non-tech staff that were frustrating.  This week, I’m sharing more stories, this time about some of the…interesting…things that patrons have done.  Enjoy, and please post your own stories in the comments–I know you’ve got them!



  • The kids had rotated the computer screen on the OPAC upstairs. Nobody else had simply thought to check the rotation under the graphics properties on the desktop.
  • I had to pass this one on. We just had a Patron contact staff, and then staff contacted the after hours support team (Rob and myself). Apparently, a Patron had inserted a memory card (small flash disk) in to our card reader, and it fell into the machine. Well, our first comment to the staff member was…we don’t have card readers in any of our computers. The Patron had put the card into one of the vents on the front of the PC. On top of this….while the staff member called, the Patron had lifted the computer up, shook it, and the card had fallen back out. So I don’t know which was worse. The Patron putting the card into the computer….or the Patron picking up a computer (which had a monitor on it) and shaking it while it was on to get the card back.
  • A patron jammed a USB stick in, upside down.
  • I had a patron come in and wanted to save something to her ‘USB thingy’ that she was told to buy. When I looked at I found that what she had actually brought in a 6 ft USB cable! I had to explain to her that she needed a USB drive.
  • I was running updates on a public computer and had put an Out of Order sign on it. A patron came over to the computer lifted up the out of order sign, sat down and closed out of my updates and started working on the computer. I booted her off using remote desktop.
  • I spent  considerable one-on-one time with a patron setting up a new Yahoo email account. I helped him navigate the sign up process, explaining that he needed to write down or print out  his user name and password, and showed him the basics of how to open messages, etc.. I thought he was good to go. On his next visit to the library, he sought me out because he couldn’t log in to his new Yahoo account. I asked him if he had his user name and password. He said he did and showed me what he had typed in.  It was  e.g. free2rhyme@yahoo.com  which is the example for entering a Yahoo user name. He said that was what Yahoo told him his user name was, and he didn’t bring the paper from when he first opened the account.     Head. Meets. Desk.

There is 1 comment

  1. I once spent four hours troubleshooting a wonky CD-ROM on a remote computer. No matter what we did, replace the CD-ROM, replace the cables, re-load the drivers, uninstall and reinstall, it would not read a CD. I tried everything to avoid having this remote site return their computer (which they had waited months for). Finally, on the last attempt, I ask the remote person if the CD was back in the drive – they answered – “yes, I can see myself now”.

    You guessed it – this person was putting the CD in *UPSIDE DOWN* the whole time!

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