“Don’t Fix the User” — An Anti-Meme, for precision rather than contradiction

I can totally understand why documents like “The User is Not Broken” would come about.   It’s about time someone attempted to tack directives onto the library doors to get us out of 20th century with web technology.   I have alot of respect for Karen Schneider as well, who was friendly enough to carry a neologism joke with me on her blog to the farthest reaches of absurdity.  I also love her How OPACs Suck  series.

But I always get concerned when a post comes out and is followed by a thousand “Amen!” “Hallelujah!” “So true.” “Yes, yes yes!” comments.    It just begs for immediate and early revisionism.   So here is my shot at it.

Lefty testy; Righty Tighty — How to Fix Your Users in Five Easy Steps 

All technologies evolve and die.  Every technology you learned about in library school will be dead someday.

Thank goodness.   Can someone please “kill” the lawnmover so my neighbour will stop nagging me?

You fear loss of control, but that has already happened.  Ride the wave.

Oh yeah.   The 60s generation was just sooo “in control” to begin with.  🙂

You are not a format.  You are a service.

I am a “service?”    I have a hard enough time being an “adult.”   Could I be just “Service?”  That way it comes off more like a superhero.  Or better, a superhero with an evil alter ego, “The Format.”   Like “The Juggernaught” from X-Men, except more ominous.  And professor X could tell me telepathically, “No, no, no Ryan — you are not “The Format,” but “Service” — the kinder, gentler librarian who works in Systems but would really rather be hanging out with the Reference Department.”

The OPAC is not the sun.  The OPAC is at best a distant planet, every year moving farther from the orbit of its solar system.

Now I’m confused.   If the OPAC sucks, doesn’t that make it a black hole or at least a vacuum?    Could it be a “sun” that exploded?

The user is the sun.

Let us hope that we, unlike Kryptonians, do not give up our only one to work as a journalist in a cheezy city.

That’s enough for now.   Come on folks, can you honestly tell me that, if you sat across the table from someone who told you you were “a service,” you’d immediately say “yes, hallelujah!”  with any amount of sincerity?    I am not a service.   A service is that fuzzy feeling the user gets if I do my job right.   A service is the ether that exists when two conditions are met:  1)  Someone implements an innovative (or not) idea and 2) People use it.   So, how about this:

1.  The user is the sun

2.  The OPAC is the clouds

3.  Knowledge is the earth.

4.  You are the wind.   Blow those clouds away and let the sun shine in!

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