Wednesday, August 29, 2018

I reach out the the Hennepin County Library (formerly)

I recently heard from a Hennepin County Library worker that their strongly enforced policy there is that staff are not allowed to do anything on their own library records. They cannot check out books, renew books, or request books behind the scenes or in their daily work lives, but must get other employees to do it for them or use the public interfaces available to them when off duty.

This seemed so profoundly untrusting, counterproductive to their staff developing any deep skill with their system, and so disturbingly antagonistic to their staff that I doubted it could be true. So I reached out, on live chat, to the Hennepin County Library and asked (more or less):

"Are you crazy?"

To which they responded (more or less):

"Yes, unfortunately, we are crazy. We suspect our Director, Lois Langer Thompson has some kind of brain fever, but measures are being taken so that we do not besmirch the good name of "Library" in this meantime, and temporarily we will be referred to as the Hennepin County Book Storage and Loaning Unit."

I thanked them for their polite response to my query (more or less).



  1. You're kidding right?

    1. I'm afraid not. Well, I mean about the name change yes, but not about their horrible policy which is what, I presume, leaves you, like me, incredulous.

  2. RCLS has the same rule, right? Often broken, but still the same.

    1. No. Not that I have ever heard of or seen mentioned, enforced or referred to in any way. I am actually a little shocked and frightened that you think so. What makes you think so?


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