Saturday, April 17, 2021

Portrait of the machine


I couldn't quite say that the AMH, the automated check in machine I work with at the library, is a character in clerkmanifesto. But it has a presence. It comes up in discussion. A rough count of posts I have labeled with "machine" brings up 35 essays, which is actually fewer than I suspected but still notable. Most of them go into my complicated affection for the big piece of million dollar industrial equipment. I have always compared the machine to Lennie from Of Mice and Men. I guess that makes me George. It might be time for me to read that book again to see how bearable such a comparison is. Also to see how accurate it is. Whether the machine sucks up and kills some woman accidentally remains to be seen. But I certainly have put my arm around the machine with deep affection and talked about how one day we will open an ideal library of our own, with no bosses to shove us around. There will be rabbits.

So there's that.

I have said it before, but the machine, the AMH, has made for the most significant improvement in my work life that I ever experienced. I try to never forget that, nor the beautiful, earnest, and not very bright tirelessness of my friend the AMH. To this day there is no co-worker who I am sadder to find out sick than the machine, and none whose working appearance so comforts me.

So naturally you are probably wondering:

Do I have a picture?

Of course! I have eleven. 

1 comment:

  1. You have reminded me of the AMH in Calgary with its vertical transport. [See 500 Day 2 - Central Library, Calgary, Alberta, Canada if you need or want a refresher.] I don't see a comment, so it must have been in conversation that you suggested that it might not be so great after it was in use for a while. It's been 25 months since that visit (feels like 5 orm ore years). I wonder how their machine has worked?

    The other place where I saw AMH in action was Brookings, SD. What I liked there was not so much the AMH machine, which was quite a small one. But someone had decided to set it up so it could tell whether all the parts (case plus 5 DVDs, for example) were present. Does your library still have to check media manually?


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