Thursday, May 18, 2023

System down

Today I tried to reserve a book on the local library system's website, as I frequently do. On this particular occasion I got an error message saying that I had reached the maximum number of holds. Since I only have a hold on one item, this puzzled me.

I called my branch and told them about the problem. The librarian said that the whole system is down because they're installing new software. They don't expect it to be ready for use until Monday or more probably, Tuesday. Have to say she was very nice about it.

Updates in tech are often a matter of taking something good or at least functional and making it worse. You've probably noticed this. So I hope that at the very least this one is equivalent to the status quo.


susan said...

While there seems to be a general undertaking to make everything simpler and more straightforward the result is often more perplexity. For instance, the bank we do business with recently changed the way account information is presented, basically for the benefit of customers who use smartphones. The result is the website is more complicated to use even though it appears to look more streamlined.

Hopefully, the nice librarian was able to reserve the book you wanted to read. While there are still reliable people working there is hope.

Ben said...

The bank's move seems pretty consistent with wider trends. It has the appearance of being simpler and easier. Whether this is actually the case for the average user, nobody knows or cares. It's not even certain that they had anyone test it, although there could have been some perfunctory work.

The librarians weren't really able to do much in the absence of working software. They couldn't even take returns that weekend. They're basically up to speed now.