Thursday, March 20, 2008

paranoid much?

The following suggestion was just emailed to our library from an anonymous patron:
"I believe contrary to law the library aids the federal government on infringing on people's privacy. As a library user I expect privacy in my searches and other work. I hope for everyone's sake that you aren't doing so. If you are cease at once."
Funny, I haven't seen anyone wandering around in a tinfoil hat.

17 comments:

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

It's from your pr0n surfing Hobo. He wants you to leave him alone to do is filthy sinful bizness in peace.

Breda said...

Ha! You might be on to something there, NJT!

Jay G said...

I'd be willing to bet a crisp $100 that this same anonymous person would be 100% supportive of the "Gun Free Zone"...

Weer'd Beard said...

Yeah cause its so private in a public building....

BobG said...

"Funny, I haven't seen anyone wandering around in a tinfoil hat."

You just haven't seen which head he's wearing it on. After all, he did want privacy...

Christina LMT said...

Cuckoo!

TJH said...

Is your circulation system in-house? If not, just tell him the database is elsewhere, and yeah, the government probably does look through everyone's records.

Stingray said...

Depending on how your computers are networked/etc, you ought to see about sending pop-up "system messages" out to the likely suspects.

"Are you sure you should look for *that* in public?"

"I seeeee yooooouuuu..."

"Bet you'll never guess how many cameras are on you right now."

"System Alert: You're right. They're watching. But I sympathize, and know there's a window where they can't track you coming in 30 seconds. Get ready to run!"

Lin M. said...

There used to be this guy that would call our office in CLE complaining about the Channel 8 helicopter "stalking" him. The chopper hadn't been anywhere near his address but he insisted. When asked why it was always "circling his house". . he said "they know I'm on the toilet reading porn".

Tin foil hat! Tin foil hat!

raven_albion said...

Well, there is that part where Homeland Security/the FBI can access patron records and prevent the library from notifying said patrons...Thanks Patriot Act!

http://www.ala.org/ala/oif/ifissues/usapatriotactlibrary.cfm

Breda said...

Raven, that would require the library to actually keep records on patrons, which we don't.

TJH said...

How do you know who hasn't returned a book?

Breda said...

We only know what you currently have checked out, but after you bring them back, the record is removed. There's no history.

TJH said...

So the system is in-house, the database is never backed-up, and the database software has no transaction logging? This is a most unusual system.

There's no general point I'm trying to establish here, only that your library is unusual. The next thing you'll be telling me is that they hire someone just to manage the reference section.

Jeffrey Quick said...

"contrary to law"? Like the dreaded PATRIOT searches, that, if they ever happen, we're supposed to call University Counsel immediately?

III is pretty good about not saving any info not absolutely necessary. It amazes me how many of our patrons assume we have some master list in their records and can tell them what that book was they checked out last year.

As for surfing, I suppose one could install key-loggers on all the public terminals. But why would you? There are some things one truly does not want to know.

Jeff said...

"We only know what you currently have checked out, but after you bring them back, the record is removed. There's no history."

Pretty sure that's the way most libraries work. Just like keeping a database off all the serial numbers "they" want to put on bullets, eventually it's going to be a very, very, very big database.
I'd much rather have the liberry spending money on books.

Ghost said...

I like that guy. For being anonymous, his writing style is very polite. And it's to the point. Although I don't share his paranoia, I have to admit that being overly zealous about privacy is the American way.

Many gun people for instance, are paranoid beyond all reason. But hey, it's our way.