[Libs-Or] (no subject)

Berntsen, Elizabeth eberntsen at ocac.edu
Fri Jul 22 11:53:20 PDT 2016

I have EHS (electromagnetic hypersensitivity). It's difficult to talk
about, since most people don't experience the headaches, chest pains, and
other symptoms that wireless and smartphone signals visit upon those of us
with this condition. It is a tangible physical response, and it is very
real. The depiction on "Better Call Saul" was inaccurate and isn't a
helpful reference point, to be honest.

It can be hard to determine the source of EHS pain, and its sufferers may
indeed have a tendency to seem, or become, paranoid regarding technology in
all its forms. Your patron will have to make peace with the fact that she
will get at least a low-level headache every time she comes into the
library due to the presence of a wifi network. To live with EHS is to
always have at least a low-level headache, but sitting in the "path" of an
active signal brings on a sudden headache that disappears when the device
stops sending or receiving data.

She's right that smartphones are a major trigger, at least while they are
online. She would also want to avoid sitting near wireless printers or
routers. I manage my headaches by using wired internet and a dumbphone (no
internet, just calls and texts). A tablet would not help in this case, as
it would have to connect to a wireless network for internet access. But I
don't believe that anyone should be excused from going through your
security gates (!) even if it causes brief discomfort.

​I understand your patron's frustration, but it's probably impossible to
make the library a place where she doesn't experience EHS pain. My advice:
believe her, express compassion, and perhaps find her a book on the
subject. Here's one called Zapped
Until EHS is a federally recognized disability, that may be all you can do.

Elizabeth Berntsen
Circulation Supervisor
Oregon College of Art and Craft

Through craft we make.
Make a statement.
Make things better.
Make them different.

On Thu, Jul 21, 2016 at 3:50 PM, WILT Laura E <Laura.E.WILT at odot.state.or.us
> wrote:

> I mentioned this email in an informal meeting our Research Unit was
> having.  The “Better Ask Saul” program came up, but one of our geologists
> mentioned that, when he had worked at DOGAMI, he was contacted by a woman
> who claimed to be so sensitive to electro-magnetic disturbances that she
> could very successfully predict earthquakes – in addition to having issues
> with electronics. She was so adamant about her abilities that Matthew
> apparently told her that he would be happy to document her predictions, and
> see how they matched up with actual events.  She did not take him up on
> that – which, if she truly had the ability, was rather a shame, because he
> would definitely have followed through with tracking it.
> *Laura*
> Laura Wilt, Librarian
> Oregon Dept. of Transportation Library
> 555 13th St NE, Ste. 1
> Salem, OR 97301-4178
> 503-986-3280
> Laura.e.wilt at odot.state.or.us
> M-Th 7-4:30; F 7-11
> *From:* Libs-Or [mailto:libs-or-bounces at listsmart.osl.state.or.us] *On
> Behalf Of *Ted Smith
> *Sent:* Thursday, July 21, 2016 2:35 PM
> *To:* libs-or at listsmart.osl.state.or.us
> *Subject:* [Libs-Or] (no subject)
> I’m having a hard time writing this e-mail because this patron’s request
> is so off the wall, but in the spirit of investigating, at least  ….   Has
> anyone heard of people having “electronic” disabilities.  We have a patron
> who will not walk through our RFID gates because she says the “electronic”
> waves are dangerous.  Her most recent request is to segregate at least one
> internet terminal, so that she does not have to sit next to people who
> possess cell phones.  They give her a headache.  I have yet to tell her
> that our entire building is wi-fi enabled and that there is  public utility
> transformer that hangs just outside our building, or that there are
> millions of little electric gremlins going through our bodies every day
> courtesy of the sun.
> To be honest, she’s giving me a headache.  I’ve searched and searched, but
> have found no reference to a credible “electronic” disability.  Any ideas.
> Ted Smith, Director
> Newport Public Library
> Newport, OR 97365
> 541.574.0600
> _____________________________________________________
> Libs-Or mailing list
> Libs-Or at listsmart.osl.state.or.us
> http://listsmart.osl.state.or.us/mailman/listinfo/libs-or
> Hosted by the Oregon State Library. The Library is not responsible for
> content.
> Questions related to message content should be directed to list owner(s)
> or the sender of the message, by phone or email.
> Technical questions? Call 503-378-8800.
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <https://omls.oregon.gov/pipermail/libs-or/attachments/20160722/ed179c34/attachment.html>

More information about the Libs-Or mailing list