So we have been talking a lot about our e-resources available here at the library and a lot of people are interested in the e-books and music available to them through CLP while others love the downloads and videos. When I first started working here I had a general knowledge of what the library had to offer but one day last year the incomparable, genius Jess from Woods Run showed me the DIY Auto Repair database available on our website. I swooned! You see my husband is an auto mechanic of the highest order. In his spare time he works on vintage cars, normal cars, off road vehicles…anything with wheels really. When not doing that his actual paying job is working on vintage World War II vehicles. This is a man who, without a tire changing machine on the side of the highway, took a tire for a 66 VW bug off the rim using the guardrail, a screw driver and just pure brute strength and replaced it with a new tire on the same rim. Okay so if you don’t know anything about cars this doesn’t sound that impressive…but it is, really, ask your mechanic.
Since Jess showed me the database I have helped out countless patrons who came in with questions or requests for auto manuals by showing them this resource. But I never thought it would help me out since my husband is part human part car (yes, technically this makes him a Transformer). Earlier this summer we were making our monthly trip to visit my in-laws in Southern West Virginia. We make this trip so often that I know the terrain by the mile markers and can tell you exactly how many minutes it will take from where we are to exit 9, our destination right outside Charleston. This particular trip was cut short when our car, an Acura, suddenly lost power. Several times my husband had to gently guide us off I-79 on to the shoulder. He had a general idea of what might be happening (fuel pump failure) but the truth is that our make of car, and its sister Honda, rarely has this issue. While he knew the pump was in a completely inconvenient place (the middle of the car, under the middle seat) he wasn’t sure where the fuel pump lines were and needed a schematic of both the lines and the fuses (or something like that, listen I honestly had stopped paying attention somewhere around the 10 minute mark in to his explanation; long-winded is a trait we share).
So while we were stranded my husband began searching on-line forums for a schematic to point him to the right lines. At this point I was a little nervous about offering up my beloved database. What if it didn’t help? What if it didn’t show him what he needed? Would he mock its very existence? I hesitated but due to the fact that I was really hungry, needed to use the bathroom and wanted to get the trip over with, I brought up it up on my phone using my library card and showed it to my husband. He was doubtful at first (what could the library offer him that 20 years of real world experience couldn’t?) but within 5 minutes he had the needed schematic in hand AND it eventually helped him when we got in to Charleston and had to find parts for the car. It totally saved us from being stuck in the dark on the road in WV (there was no banjo music playing…yet) or from having to get a tow truck!