Thursday, July 25, 2013

Chicago Public Library: Humboldt Park Branch

1605 N. Troy Street

One of the things that surprised my friend and I when we first went into one of the branches was that there were lots of open computers and there was no line to get internet access.  At first we thought this was awesome, but then we realized that there are two pretty big causes for why this is.

1. The library system in general is underused. The central branch is incredibly empty.

2. The software that runs on the computers is awful. Like, super slow, can't do anything, things crash and then you can't even open a new browser window you have to wait until the computer realizes things crashed and then opens a new one. 

I was told they're running Internet Explorer 5, but that they're updating to IE 7 this year (the newest version of IE is 10). There are multiple campaigns to get people to stop using IE 6 (one of them is even run _by_ Microsoft), but apparently technology isn't a priority for the Chicago Library system. Of course, that is how you make things relevant.

I wasn't even able to use the super slow internet at this library because there was nobody at the reference desk to give me a guest pass. (And getting a guest pass requires having out of state ID, if your ID is from somewhere else in Illinois you have to get a library card from your local branch first.)

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