Sometimes, you gotta be blunt with your users.

Gary Neville and Paul Scholes kissed, Manchester United 1:0 Manchester City, April 17, 2010 by Jennifer M. Rukyo
Gary Neville and Paul Scholes kissed, Manchester United 1:0 Manchester City, April 17, 2010, a photo by Jennifer M. Rukyo on Flickr.

Sometimes, you have to just cut to the chase and speak openly. It’s one thing I like about Gary Neville, like how he doesn’t hold back criticism as a pundit. He dishes it, and he’s often right.

Sometimes I wish I could be so frank. This week is the first week of the semester. Students are back. People need help. People are trying to do research on their own. They need articles and tech reports. For some reason they keep using the catalog and then complaining that they can’t find anything.

I want to just yell “OF COURSE YOU CAN’T!” but that’s not very nice. I remind them, “The catalog is best for books, for articles and other research reports use TRID.” But they keep going back to the catalog and the cycle keeps happening.

I threw this question out to the internet – how do I stop the cycle. Some said you can’t. (Which is true.) There was a suggestion to change all the links to the catalog to go to the database. (Ingenious but that would create other problems.) Others started talking to me about how a discovery layer will solve this problem. (It wouldn’t really and we’re not planning on buying one anytime soon.)

So instead I made this simple, sort of blunt blog post. It’s not what I wanted to say, which would have been – “USE TRID! DO NOT USE THE CATALOG! USE TRID! NOT THE CATALOG!” Oh well.

We can’t all be Gary Neville.






3 responses to “Sometimes, you gotta be blunt with your users.”

  1. Andrew Rohne Avatar

    Perhaps a sign as people enter the library would help… something like this, but better looking. 🙂

      1. gautham Avatar

        yes that would be more effective than yelling, as far as a librarian is concerned, i think.

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