The library is all RFID ed up now, which basically translates as the punter does all the work, badly. This results in long queues at the Information Desk, where we wait humbly in line to find out:
- Why when we have paid our fines, they appear unpaid
- Why our reserved book is still not available
- Why we are setting the alarm off on the way out
- If they will unlock the deposit box where we have accidentally deposited books before officially returning them
- And so on… including the meek, the halt and the lame who can’t make head nor tail of the new fanglement.
Those behind the desk have a worrying tendency to be both uninformed and unhelpful with a distinct reluctance to leave the power zone of the Information Desk. Even though they are largely neither use nor ornament. It’s probably not their fault, they are cheap labour with no clue.
I have found ways to circumvent some of these annoyances. Firstly, where possible I buy crappy old books that are ex-library stock. Secondly, I return my books through the library letterbox on the street, marked BOOKS. This orifice appears to be officially shut, but I have found a way of prying it open to deposit my books without resorting to the RFID terminal.
This post is just a small mark of protest in the sea of technology swamping the human exchange. Still, there remain things that even machines can’t do: retrieve my renegade returns from the letter box and paint a picture of a racehorse.
Thank goodness for that. Here’s a picture from a book I bought at the library this week, called ‘Racehorses in Art’. A few pages have been torn out and there are some childish scribbles saying ‘I love…’ indecipherable.
Catching the winter virus, mechanisation of the human experience, all of these outrages can be soothed with a picture of a nice horse.