Thursday, May 27, 2010

Don't Ask, Don't Tell (was: It's not my fault!)

I just had to explain to a patron why I couldn't give her detailed instructions on how to copy the music CD that she borrowed from us onto her iPod.

"But I read about the downloadable audiobooks. Isn't that the same thing?"

"No. There are a limited number of copies of each downloadable audiobook that the state library licenses from the publishers. It's just like checking out an audiobook on CD. If everyone made 1,000 copies of "The Help"--and there's no technical impediment to doing that--then the author and the publisher have lost 1,000 sales."

"Well, all I want to do is listen to it while I'm walking on the beach."

{Hmm. Well, get a Sony Walkman--I think they still sell those--or buy the album from iTunes. I didn't say that out loud, of course.}

I did give her broad general instructions--basically rip the CD, plug in the iPod, follow the prompts on the screen--but she still wanted to bring in her iPod so I could show her.

{sigh}

p.s. A different patron just came in and checked out a stack of 16 music CDs. I handed him the receipt and said, "Those are all due back on June 26."

"Oh," he says, "if all goes well I'll have them back tomorrow."

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