Tuesday, April 11, 2017


We have plenty of computers at my library. If you don't have a library card we'll give you a temporary Internet pass. It has a barcode on it and a pin number. So there's a long number under the barcode. Then, handwritten, the card says "Pin" followed by a four digit number.

A woman was having problems logging onto our computers with her own library card so I gave her one of these passes. I said "Just go to any computer with clouds on the screen and log in using the barcode and the pin. Bring this card back when you're done."

Off she went, but not for long.

"It didn't work." She said. And as I was running through my mind a quick diagnosis of what might have happened she added "I tried it on two computers and I tried it in both lower case and upper case."


"What were you putting in upper and lower case?" I asked.

"P-I-N." She replied.

I explained the problem. "It's the number below." I pointed it out.

As the light dawned she turned a bit red. She felt a little foolish and told me so.

I didn't tell her not to. In this case I felt it was a reasonable response, and not feeling foolish would likely be more concerning.

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