I just have to tell you about my volunteer shift at the library on Saturday. It being a holiday weekend the place was rather quiet and a number of the librarians were chatty. They’d stop by the welcome desk to say hi and all but one–you know which one that is–thanked me profusely for being there on a holiday weekend.
Even though librarian Mike didn’t thank me for being there he still gave me a jolly hello when he came in to work. But then he had to go and ruin it by scurrying over to check on what I had been doing at the catalog computer with a patron. Our library card application is online and accessed via the catalog home page and I had gotten the patron started on the application. But Mike had to make sure I hadn’t helped them look something up and he raced over to stand directly behind the patron to see what he was doing.
We’ve begun a new thing at the library by having one of the reference librarians “rove.” The idea is that it makes them more visible and more accessible. I think it’s true and from what I have seen it is working really well. Saturday’s roving librarian was Lee. He came over to say hi and thank me for volunteering. He spent a good part of my shift working on shelving a big cart of audiobooks. The audiobook shelves are right by the catalog computers and he must have heard me as I walked patrons over and explained how to get a library card, because just before he went to lunch and just before I left, he came over and told me thanks again. And then he made my day because he said that I was very good with patrons and so very friendly and nice and he really appreciated having such a helpful volunteer. I’ve been volunteering there for well over a year now and Saturday was the first time I felt anyone besides the security guards and the patrons were glad I was there (security is glad because it means they don’t have to have someone standing at the entrance to keep an eye on things).
Now for a little library school update. I finished reading the 125 page Internet Public Library training manual over the weekend and took and passed the quiz. Yesterday I received my username and password so I can log in and complete my practice question. Once I complete my practice question and receive approval, I will then be able to answer real reference questions! I am excited about it but goodness, is it going to be a lot of work. I am to provide no less than three sources per reference request, I also have to explain where I found the sources, why I chose the ones I did, and then reconstruct my search for the patron. I also have to make sure my suggestions are age appropriate and make sure my response is age appropriate (no big sentences, suggesting that an adult help the child if necessary, that kind of thing). So much to remember!
This week’s reading is interesting too. It’s about how a library’s organization affects the way a person looks for and finds information. That’s a simplistic summary, and maybe you’ll just have to take my word for it that it’s a fascinating thing to ponder on.