On Being a Librarian

Trends, Achievements, and Perspectives

LDLP Fifth Day

Friday February 3rd, 2012

Library Day in the Life Project

5:4o AM

I lie motionless on the pavement taking stock of how I arrived in this numb position still attached to Kona.  Recall.  Recall. Ah, I have it. Apparently even a small patch of ice underfoot has power.  I was only 4 km’s away from home when my heel struck a bit of ice no larger than a deck of cards.  That flash of time moved insanely slowly as I felt my entire body rise upward as though a magician was practicing some levitating trick. I now recall both the sound and the feeling of the body meeting pavement thud. Kona is as perplexed as I am vexed at this situation. 

8:00 AM

I’ve read 8 emails, sipped at my coffee, and adjusted the height of my chair.  This is one of the few days I can attend the Reference meeting and the Library Council meeting.  However, I am foiled because I had to swap out some Reference shifts with colleagues to accommodate library instruction sessions. My Reference Desk shifts today are: 9:30 – 11:00 AM, 12:30 – 2:00 PM, and 3:30 – 5:00 PM all at the MAIN Library.  I also take a Meebo shift from 2:00 – 3:00 PM. 

Discussion is ongoing about this newly renovated library and centre around the various areas where we service our users.  The Reference Desk is getting much attention and professional conversations are underway to determine what changes might be possible.  There are concerns about the position of the desk relative to the Circulation Desk and student point-of-need, size of work space, awkwardness of a too-tall desk perched beside an average work station, too few electrical outlets, and a few other concerns.  I am confident that a solution will be found at some point. In the meanwhile, I like to work at the tall desk because I am then at eye level with approaching students and appear ready and eager to help them.  I hope a monitor arm can be installed soon so I can have more counter space upon which to work.  It is easy at this desk to turn the monitor, keyboard, and mouse to face the students, offering an opportunity for a nearly ideal reference interaction.  My preference is to guide students to the tools and resources they will need to complete their assignments and meet their information needs.  Giving students control of the mouse immediately reduces their sometimes frantic pace.  Here are some outcomes of the process; students:

  • experience how slowly a page is loading and adjust their expectation for how quickly we can get the answer to their question
  • are better able to recall the steps taken to get to tools and resources when they later return to their own computers
  • feel engaged in the reference interaction boosting confidence in their own ability to get the information they need
  • connect steps taken through the information retrieval process to the value of the information they find
  • are more willing to explore more tools and resources than they might have otherwise used

8:00 PM

A close friend is driving from Golden to Whistler, BC to meet other friends and snow board before heading to business meetings and a conference in Vancouver.   She will be taking an absolutely stunning route from here through Lillooet and the Coast Mountains.

She stops at my house for dinner, conversation, relaxing before finishing the drive in the morning,  allowing us catch up on each other’s news. I miss my nephew’s Midget Hockey game tonight but am sure I will make it up to him soon.

The above image is from a story posted at Club Tread.

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