Sunday, November 30, 2008

Try and Wear a Cape

So I know I work with children and teens but I realized that I enjoy reference work A LOT!!! I like interacting with adult patrons and (trying) to solve their reference needs.

Sometimes I reminisce about one of my first reference interviews. A few years ago, I met an elderly woman who wanted a specific poem to read at her friend's funeral. She determined that she was going to leave with this poem. Everyone in the library devoted their energies to this reference query and search for at least 15 or 20 minutes for this woman. We looked in poetry books, anthologies, and even "googled" it. After this intense search, everyone decided to quit the search. Sometimes I think it (the search) becomes more of a contest~"who's the best or quickest". Secretly, I do enjoy the competition. When all seemed lost, I looked at the lady again and decided I would continue with the search. She only had part of the line. For you people who think it's a poem you can find on or, you're so wrong. Ultimately, I found the poem on a google search. I changed a few search terms. It was that moment of elation from the lady that I said I was going to stick with libraries. Sure, I have had moments where I questioned my decision. (It took me almost 2 years to apply to library school.)

So for the past few days I have had some pleasant reference interviews. I love the creativity and depth my job allows for me, i.e. creating story times, decorating, playing the Wii with Teens or kids, ordering books for juveniles and teens, crafting, homework help for everyone etc etc. Despite all these things, this week has shown me that I am a librarian who colors outside of the lines. I like people. I like to help people. I like all types of people from birth to 100+ years old.

Sometimes I am in awe of the expectations of our communities. They expect us to be omnipotent beings; there, I think, is the challenge, but it really is simple. Even if we can't be the omnipotent beings they want, we have the abilities to provide acts of kindness or consideration goes a long way. I understand that I can't be Superwoman for the library world but I can, at least, try and wear a cape and pretend to be invincible. Right?

1 comment:

Biker Librarian said...

I totally agree with you on this one. That is partly what keeps me in a one person branch. I love the variety and I have to help everyone birth to 100 because there isn't anyone else to do it. Secretly though I would like a cape with the universal library symbol on it. I would settle for a patch to put on the back of my biker vest though. Maybe I'll google it.