Mother Nature Rules Again!

June 21, 2010 at 3:57 pm Leave a comment

Weeks pass for me at the Library where I marvel at the wonders of technology. I have the tools at my fingertips (or keyboard) to answer just about any question a patron may pose at the Reference Desk. Our residents access thousands of dollars worth of electronic databases and may download hundreds of digital books from their home computers. Although it seems like the machinery of the cyber-world is humming along, just one hour’s worth of wind and rain can bring everything to a screeching halt. This is exactly what happened this past weekend. Strong thunderstorms with hurricane strength winds hit our town on Friday evening. Power went down for almost 200,000 customers in the metro area for varying amounts of time. Our Library was out for two days, which meant our web page was off-line as well as our catalog and databases. Patrons failed to renew their DVDs and books. Digital downloads of e-books and audio e-books had to be put on hold. Reserves couldn’t be placed on the latest James Patterson book. In other words, we had some very frustrated users!
We re-opened this morning to mountains of returned materials to be checked in and a slew of patron questions about why they couldn’t access our electronic resources. We’ve forgiven countless fines and apologized dozens of times for any inconvenience they may have suffered. In the final analysis, I wanted to tell those users that it wasn’t our fault – that even computer servers can’t win when Mother Nature decides to pay us a visit. I think it’s just God’s way of giving me a reality check about how far technology has really progressed !


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Well Rounded Librarian by Kathy Petlewski is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

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