Our county library has changed its system.
I was happy with the old system. They didn’t ask me. Running the library was outsourced to a private, for-profit firm several years ago. They asked me. I voted against it. I was outvoted. As a result of that move, the library hours were immediately cut, and people were let go.
Then came the coronarivus…
They’ve been doing a pretty good job during the pandemic. Kinda hard to screw up. Put a book on hold. When it’s available, present self at door. Provide name and card number. Librarian checks book out and gives it to you. You return the book to a drop box when you’re done with it.
That all worked well but changes were required. Technology sprints ahead. We must catch up. ‘They said’ in their notice that it would be easier to search online content and find my books. I was having no problem with those things. They can’t be easier than that, can they?
‘They’ also told me that the first time I logged in, my PIN would be the last four digits of my telephone number. I logged in today and entered the last four digits of my telephone number. ‘That information is incorrect’, the system told me. Okay, reset password.
I went through that, receiving the link to do this in my email account. After I reset my PIN, I went to my account to see what telephone number was in my account.
It was a number that I didn’t know.
Naturally. Technology, right. GIGO. Garbage in, etc.
I changed the number. The system told me a librarian would review the information before updating my account.
I logged out.
A few hours passed. My wife wanted to know what books were on the hold list. She uses my account because she didn’t want to go through the bother of getting a new library card the last time that the system changed, a few years ago.
I logged in.
‘That information is incorrect’, the system told me.
WTF? No, it isn’t.
Well, the system disagreed. Everyone knows that the system wins in these instances.
I reset my password again via an email link. For extra points, I used the PIN that I’d previously created.
Yeah, it took.
I remained logged in afterward. But then again, I decided, log out, because if it doesn’t recognize me and I need to reset my PIN, well, three times is a charm, right?
Does technology know that?