The Library’s new Merlin Elite Pro HD/OCR reader brings a whole new crowd to the Technology Commons these days. Doctors from all over the County and beyond are lining up to take advantage of the reader’s powerful magnification and ease of use. The apparatus is so popular that some local medical hospitals are thinking of saving some money by giving up their microscopes. Still, there are some problems.
“We knew the Merlin Elite Pro HD/OCR was going to be a big help to our visually impaired patrons. When we first got it patrons were using it to read everything from legal documents to the little blurbs on the back of our DVDs,” explained Library Director Laura Eckley. “Now, with all these doctors in there, our regular patrons can’t get to the machine.”
Eckley explained that one problem is that each doctor thinks their needs should take priority. This can make crowd control difficult. “I understand that doctors handling genuine emergencies should be able to cut the line, but last week we had a podiatrist and a plastic surgeon almost come to blows. It’s very disturbing to our patrons who just want to come to the library for a quiet place to work.”
Another thing patrons find disturbing is the doctors’ habit of casually dumping samples in random spots after they finish examining them. “Who wants to find a vial of blood (or even worse, a urine sample) lying around while they browse New Fiction?” Eckley said. “And don’t even get me started about that thing with the Ebola Virus. Sure it was released by mistake, but it took us a week to decontaminate the Tech Commons. That doctor has been banned from the Library. He can go do his epidemiology elsewhere.”