Saturday, September 8, 2012

Feeling voyeuristic?

When I worked at a library, lo these many years ago, I remember at some point of my training the conversation drifting off into what kinds of records the library kept about what people checked out and to whom those records had to be surrendered. This had nothing to do with my job -- I was working in reference and had nothing to do with circulation -- but all that Patriot Act stuff was fairly new at the time, the library had recently changed some of its policies for dealing with law enforcement, and so I guess it was on people's minds. Anyway, I just remember the librarian stressing that, as library employees, the ethical thing was for us to respect patrons' privacy and not notice or comment on what they were checking out.

Phew, I thought; as if I were in there every day checking out The Art of Sexually Pleasing Your Black Man or Embarrassing Medical Conditions and How to Manage Them or Basic Principles of Pipe Bombs or whatever. I have very straight-and-narrow reading tastes (as you'll have noticed) but I appreciate the principle.

That being said: I just placed an order at The Book Depository (.com) and they have this "live" feature that pops up books people have bought on a map. Oho, so someone in Ireland likes Manga do they? Someone in Australia's buying Roald Dahl books, and someone in Canada must be taking an accounting class! Ah, the thrill of it!

I feel like maybe I've posted about this feature before; but that would imply that I knew about it; but when I saw it I was surprised by it; and whatever, who cares if I'm losing my mind. It's Saturday.

ETA: This seems like a really strange book for someone in Australia to be buying. Ex-pats?

ETA2: Eee! My order just popped up! I'm famous, anonymously!

1 comment:


    Also I know some Gen Xers who would be really pissed off by this feature.