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Magic! At the library

April 2, 2011

Sometimes a patron will ask me for help with something, and to them it clearly seems almost impossible, but I end up figuring out how to do it. This doesn’t happen every time, especially if the question relates to e-readers and the way they interact with Overdrive (I hate all things DRM and don’t have an e-reader), but sometimes I get lucky. When I do, the patron will often look at me like I just performed some sort of magic trick. I mean, sure, librarians are pretty magic, but it’s nice to be reminded that patrons think so too. Sometimes you can’t tell what they think of us.

This past week a patron came in wanting to know if there was a way they could transfer the music files they had on one mp3 player to another mp3 player. My personal experience is with iPods where that activity is, technically, impossible. I know how to make it happen, but I’ve yet to figure out just how much of my “special” skills I should pass on to patrons. For example, when asked whether a video can be downloaded from YouTube, what does a person say? Anyway, this mp3 player turned out to work just like a USB drive so it was pretty easy to just plug, drag, and drop. I showed the patron how to do this, but he still thought I had performed some minor miracle. Either that or he had imprinted on me. Sometimes that will happen with patrons when you’re helping them sort out an intense computer problem. I once had a patron become so attached to me that, when he saw me walking a cart back to circulation, he just followed me back into the staff area. It was strange.

But yes, it’s nice when patrons think you’re magic. Especially when you’re having a rough week.

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