Monday, April 18, 2011

Sequoya Branch Offers Self-Check Instructions in Haiku

Check out the haiku at Sequoya Library. Yes, literally. (Wisconsin State Journal, 4/17/2011)

Excerpt: Local public libraries this week might have to work out the bugs on some recently installed computer software, but there will be at least one soothing constant: Haiku at the self-checkouts at the Sequoya Branch Library.

Poetry is alive and beeping at the machines throughout April, aka National Poetry Month.
Conventionally, the self checkout stations at Madison public libraries - which patrons can turn to instead of library clerks to record the barcodes on the items they're borrowing - ask users to choose English or Spanish on a touch screen to guide them through the checkout process.

But at Sequoya this month, there's also a "Haiku" button, offering an off-the-wall series of checkout instructions in the Haiku syllabic pattern of 5-7-5. And a Julia Child-voiced option, where patrons can check out books by following a recipe ("Preheat oven to 450 degrees and scan your card") as if they're baking a batch of biscuits.

"We've done a number of different goofy themes," said librarian Gregg Drexler, who notes that library patrons, like grocery shoppers, can get a little frustrated when the self-help technology meant to speed their checkouts hits a glitch.

The first wacky checkout sequence at Sequoya was for International Talk-Like-A-Pirate Day

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