Hire a librarian?

Hire a librarian to do your computer workOn Tuesday I was visiting the Morton-James Public Library in Nebraska City, NE and noticed this sign (right) in the computer lab. I asked about it and it turns out that they do offer the service of a librarian to “do the work for you” at the rate of $5 per 1/2 hour. They don’t get many takers but there have been a few. Mainly they’ve found that it actually encourages people to learn how to do it for themselves instead of just expecting the staff to do it for them. (They do also offer free one-on-one computer classes.) Shelly from BCR has already left her opinion in flickr, what do you think?

One Reply to “Hire a librarian?”

  1. That’s really interesting.

    I think I get what they’re going for – many librarians feel like they spend too much time doing “non-librarian” duties, especially when it comes to the computers. (not that I necessarily agree, I just see where this is coming from)

    My first impulse, though, is to think this kind of a notice is really, really patron unfriendly. I think that if I saw something like this in my library I’d be less likely to ask a librarian for help…on anything. I’d really see it as an indication that the librarians feel like helping me is something extra, not something that they are there to do anyway. And it really sends the message that some inquiries are “worth” more than others… at least, that’s the way that I read it.

    I just don’t think sending patrons a message that “sure, I’ll help… but it’ll cost you!” is really the way to go. As a patron, I’d really resent that.

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