Library rhetoric

Here’s a nice bit of rhetoric from my local library (sent via email – a nice feature)

Subject: Courtesy Pre-Overdue Notice from Your Library


The item(s) listed below are due back soon. This courtesy notice does not list everything currently on your record, just those items thatare due in the next few days. For questions, please call your local library.

Pre-Overdue? That’s just ludicrous. And insulting. It places the customer’s actions into the category of prohibited, suggesting you are already a violator.

Are we pre-violating the speed limit by driving 2 mph under? Are airline travellers potential terrorists?

For all the protestations about protecting liberty in the face of the Patriot Act we’ve heard by librarians, you’d think the library culture would be a bit more sensitive to the impact of their language choices (being a library, and all that, dealing with words as their primary item of exchange). Screw you, library, for telling me I’ve almost committed a violation. My books aren’t due until they are due, and don’t treat me like an overdue-book-holding-patron until I reach that point.

(chances are this is an automated feature of some IT purchased by the library system by some vendor, where neither the customer (the library) nor the software company gave any thought to thinking about design, brand, communication, customers, etc. but They Love Infstracture and Cost Savings, so off we go. Yuck).


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