Tuesday, May 19, 2009

What's New at the Library II?

                                              Library News
               Closures are now under review by the government, but it is difficult
               to have confidence in a minister (Andrew Burnham) who says he
               wants libraries of the future to be like 'Facebook 3-D.'
                                                                           - ABA Newsletter May 2009


Despite the dissent of library fuddy-duddy Luddites like Rachel Cook at the Guardian and Tom Roper of The Roper Organization, at 2AM on April 14 we will be making the conversion from the old library paradigm to the new.

• Library patrons will now "log in" when they enter the Library instead of saying hello. This will free staff from unnecessary and awkward physical interaction with the public.

• If they have not done so already, patrons must complete our new Satisfaction Survey which will mine for basic information and details of the individual's life so that we can better serve their needs, size them up for unsolicited solicitations, and match them with other Branch book lovers. At the request of the City Attorney, please be certain that patrons read the Disclaimer at bottom: "Not responsible for bad dates, stalkers, or assault with a deadly sales pitch."

• Staff members may, if they elect, "share" with patrons the special as well as the mundane details of their lives.

• Preferences can be set by individual staff members so that they do not have to listen to patrons reciprocate or unilaterally share the special as well as mundane details of their lives. For Preference Enforcement, call Security.

• To encourage patrons to spend as much time as possible "on-site" and thus maximize exposure to the Library's new revenue enhancement system, we are debuting a new test-game; What Class Are You in the Dewey Decimal System? Once they've taken the test, Library users will be solicited by the Reference Librarian for their sub-set. If, for instance, patrons are "900. History and Geography and Biography. You have a need to know what was, where it was, and who was it. Kind of a busybody, aren't you?" they will be asked to further refine our search efforts by specific filters so that we will know that they are prime targets for, say, detergent advertising, i.e. New, Blue, Unscented Cheer with Scrubbing Bubbles and Free Book Inside! (The inserted paperback book will present an additional revenue opportunity as yet another splice in our continuous loop of product placement from which there is no escape).

• When patrons check-out books, they will automatically be prompted by a suggestion for another book in the same area of interest which if they buy and not borrow will earn bonus-points that can be used for purchases from any of our Associate Rewards Member companies.

• Library patrons, to protect their real identity and maximize their social-library experience, will have the option of choosing a mask of their favorite celebrity or historical personage from the Fictitious ID Dept. I need not point out the danger of identities assigned to more than one person at the same time. Nor, simultaneous multiple identities to the same person. Please be careful.

• As verbal sharing amongst patrons who may or may not actually know one another will likely increase and cause distress to others wishing to hear the proverbial pin drop, use of the free StatusWhisper™ device will be encouraged, which is, essentially, a fashion-forward surgical mask which cost two cents but after selling ad space we earn two bucks apiece on.

• The On-Site Chat feature may be disabled by pointing to the "Quiet, Please" sign. But as disabling currently requires a few tweaks for optimization, Security may instead be called.

• Patrons who are bothered by other patrons who constantly update their status are free to leave the library at any time to return home to their pathetic, shut-in, lonely lives and unread books.

• Library patrons who refuse to cooperate and participate in the new, improved Library may be offered use of the Cone of Silence located in the basement of each branch or shown the door. What do they think we're running around here, a library?

Originally appeared in Fine Books & Collections on this date.

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