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Choosing a username not so easy

The Olathe Library has a new Web catalog, and to use it I need to log in for a new account. In addition to my card number and a PIN, I will now need a username.

I was at the library two days ago, but where did I leave that card? How many people have memorized their card number? Found. In the closet. In a jacket pocket.

Which word shall I designate for a username? The Web site gives a helpful clue: Something you can easily remember.

How about Cranfield? Ed Cranfield was the finest librarian I've ever known. I think of him almost every time I'm in the library; in fact, his name is over the door of the meeting room. I should be able to remember Cranfield as a username.

Oh? Somebody has already chosen that name? I'm not surprised.

How about Bloomsbury?

Taken? Must be more ex-Brits around here than I thought.


That, too? I thought it was fairly original.

Let's try Wrindsworth, a place name I made up. You can't find anything if you try to Google Wrindsworth.

That's unavailable? There must be something wrong with the new system.

One last try: possumtracks.

Not that one either? I give up. Shut the computer down. Let it cool off. Let me cool off.

Ten minutes later I've calmed down and am ready to try again. Where did I put my card this time? I still haven't memorized the number.

Let's try another London underground stop, Knightsbridge.

Can't have that either, huh? Must really be a lot of ex-Brits around. The message on the screen says I can't have Knightsbridge as a username because it consists of numbers. K-N-I-G-H-T-S-B-R-I-D-G-E. Which of those characters is a number? I'm getting hysterical, and it's rubbing off on my choices:


Aha! My new username is skunktrail! That ought to be good, until computers figure out how to transmit odors.

PS: This morning the library called for me to pick up one of my requests. I had to use my driver's license to check it out, because I left my card at home. Next to my computer.