An elderly woman approached the reference desk recently to ask for help in finding a novel. My impression was that neither her vision nor her legs were up to the task of the search, so I retrieved the book for her from the large-print section. While I was thus engaged, my patron was busy reading the placard that the library where I intern has placed at the reference desk. Its purpose is to inform patrons about the USA Patriot Act [the law passed after the Sept. 11 attacks to expand the government's surveillance powers in terrorist investigations]. It took her a while to absorb the meaning before she spoke.Link Discuss (Thanks, Zed!)
She said: "What does this mean? This is like the Red Scare. You surely aren't going to participate in this, are you? I have lived a long time, and never thought I would see this happen again."
With that she departed.
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.