Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Libraries and Modern Psychology

We have had a disaster of sorts here at HPL beginning a few days ago. As of this morning, it looks like it will continue for at least for another week. This disaster is vexing to both staff and patrons. Although we are able to open the doors every day, it is amazing to me and apparently HUGELY distressing to the patrons who have complained to me, the effects of our disaster.

So what happened? Fire? Thank goodness, no. Flood? No. Electric failure or water main break? Closer. The disaster that befell us is that our WiFi system completely died. Dead. Kaput. And frankly, this is what WiFi means to me and many others these days:
Many of you may recognize this as (mostly)psychologist Abraham Maslow's famous Heirarchy of Needs. I have taken the liberty of crudely modifying it to fit my needs, but I think the illustration is appropriate to the situation. I cannot take credit for this joke, I've seen it spread all around the Internet (though not on my tablet here at the library this week!)

I hate to admit it, but I really am quite reliant on my mobile devices for my day-to-day activities. I feel the pain of our patrons during this very trying time. To be honest, Internet connectivity actually helps me realize some of my "self-actualization" needs on Maslow's chart. I'm creating this post on a wired computer, but WiFi helps me to do that anywhere inspiration strikes.

There is good news to come out of this. Replacing our clunky old WiFi box was on the slate of projects for this year and very soon we'll have a slick, new, load-balancing system with an easy-to-log-into interface. Coverage will be much better in our building and we'll have a strong signal in the meeting rooms and other public areas. In the meantime, there are a number of ways to cope with WiFi withdrawal. Go outside! Get some exercise! Dare I say it? Read a book!

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