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Jack Bauer by Aubele.

Photo created by Aubele

Ok, so here is how the actual library event played out:

A 50-something female patron frantically motions to me over to the computer area. When I get there (I was way up front by the new books), she is freaking out and yelling, “You have to extend my time! Extend my time! I’m taking a test! I’ll lose everything!”

I look at her computer screen and see the time counter is now on 7 seconds (and counting). As I hurry over to the administrative computer, knowing there is NO way I can possibly get there in time, I say, “I really need more than seven seconds of lead time to extend your session.”

Her time runs out and the computer automatically logs her off, as expected, before I can even touch the keyboard. She, of course, blames the librarians.

Oh, and did I mention that the computer system has built in time prompts that pop-up in a BIG yellow box on the user’s screen at 30 minutes, 15 minutes and 5 minutes that warn of the time running out? Geesh.

So, the time ticking off the counter reminded me of the show 24. In that spirit, I give you:

Jack Bauer, Small Town Librarian:

“I’m standing near the new books section, giving the skunk eye to a group of teens when I get that tingling in the back of my neck…something’s wrong. Looking around, I see a 50-something female patron frantically motioning to me over to the computer area.

Seeing her distress, I quickly shove a young kid out of my way and dive over two book carts, nearly impaling myself on a book end. Thank god I insist on wearing my bullet-proof vest at work. I do a quick tuck and roll and land at the patron’s feet.

When I get there, she is freaking out and yelling, “You have to extend my time! Extend my time! I’m taking a test! I’ll lose everything!” I look at her computer screen and see the time counter is now on 7 seconds (and counting).

That’s when I realize, she’s a Chinese agent who is trying to release a computer virus! With my lightening reflexes, I knock her out with a swift karate chop (I’ll torture her later for more information), grab the computer off the desk and run toward the back door.

“Out of my way, people!!,” I yell as I hurl the ticking computer into the metal book drop where it explodes in a small fireball. Just then, my cellphone rings…it’s the library president! She needs me to track down an overdue DVD that’s vital to the library’s survival…I have to go.”

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