New Self-Checkout Kiosk at the Library

Will new robo-librarian overlords rule with an iron bookmark?

Photo_072307_001As a former member of the Northfield Public Library board, I know that the library has been mulling over the idea of self-serve checkouts for several years. There are various pros and cons with the idea (as with anything, really) and when I left last year there was much talk of if and when the NPL should install it.

Well, the when has been answered: it's now. (Okay, it was two weeks ago, but my books were due today.) I was pleasantly surprised to see one installed. One of the librarians was happy to give me a walk-through on using the machine. It's rather similar to the grocery self-serves that have been popping up all over the last few years. Find the bar code, scan it, hit 'finished', get your receipt.

The new NPL scanner also has a Spanish interface. Considering that (according to the 2000 census) Rice County is nearly 5% Hispanic, I think it may get quite a bit of use. More pictures after the jump...

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Comic Sans Editorial

As an afterthought, I must register my objection to the use of 'Comic Sans' as the font on the kiosk. CS is an awful, awful font. Here's a link to a site that promotes the banning of Comic Sans. (Warning, objectionable words) To quote...

I found a weird website on typography, it was written in Italian I think*, and had images of a gravestone lettered in comic sans. What does that say to you?

That would only be appropriate if the deceased were a clown or comedian[.]

Please, NPL, replace the font with something that was meant to be read and not used as a joke.

Agreed! No Comic Sans!

While maybe not the same degree of severity can be applied to this issue as, say, a heroin problem among community youth, I'm going to stand with Mr. Gurno and demand a full comic sans retraction from all library displays and publications. Hate, hate, HATE that font!

It's not even a good font for a comedian to use. Maybe a very bad comedian.

Comic sans has been found to decrease the humor value of writing by nearly 45%!

Amazingly, when you publicly read humorous writing off a page, and that humorous writing is in comic sans font, your audience will laugh 31% less, EVEN THOUGH they don't know the writing's font!

This effect pervades even if you're simply reciting the same humorous passage from memory: the fact that you memorized it from text written in the comic sans font drags the comedic value down by nearly 17%!

[All findings from the American Institute of Font-Comedy Relations' 1996 report: "Sans Comic Sans: One Font's Threat to Funniness"]

- Brendon Etter

A Play A Day & Lysteria