Monday, October 6, 2008

The Effing Library: the friendliest library.

From here, but hijacked from LISNews here: "The NPPL’s staff want to provide a great customer experience. Doing things like knowing people’s names when they approach the circ desk and starting to check them out even before they have time to find their library card are a part of creating a good experience."

At The Effing Library (the.effing.library), we go one better. As the patron enters the library, their smart library card broadcasts their presence to the central computer ("CC") system where all of their borrowing history is displayed on my screen so that I can know as much about our patrons as possible in order to provide good customer service. With that information, the CC then scans the motor vehicles database for a driving history (accidents, tickets); the CC also searches for names listed in the State's sexual predator database. Within 90 seconds, all the public information available about my patron is ready on my screen. "Hello, Mr. Johnson, still drinking and driving and picking up underage girls? How can I help you today?"

If the patron currently has library fines, the CC accesses the property appraiser's website and searches for property records; if the patron approaches the circulation desk to borrow materials, the fine payment is requested and if the patron disputes the fine or claims financial hardship as an excuse for non-payment, the clerk can see the current value of the patron's home along with tax records and any liens filed against the property. If the patron continues to argue the fine, with a single mouse-click, the circulation clerk adds the fine amount to the tax bill. If the fine exceeds $10, a lien for that amount is placed against the property in addition to the filing fees and interest.

The Effing Library wants patrons to have a truly unique experience when they visit, so we hold it as our duty to know everything about them.

And don't even think about Internet use. Every Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Feast of the Golden Dragon/The Mending of the Earth celebration at the end of the year, the library sends a card to every Internet user with a list of each and every URL he entered into the address bar, and a message of warm wishes that we can help him with his search for knowledge in the coming year.

And if you think our library patrons might be afraid to visit our library with all of our staff completely aware of all of their personal information; hell, they're terrified not to.