So, last week, I decided to start keeping track of the ways I (and other librarians) help people and start blogging about them. (*If anyone out there is graphically talented, I’d love some kind of logo for this!*)
This is my first week’s report. It’s not terribly impressive. But I never said that librarians help in big, impressive ways. (Though sometimes we do get to do that.) We get to help people in small, everyday ways.
This week, I didn’t work on the desk too many hours, with a couple of doctor appointments and things like that. (I think the scheduler is going easy on me as I think I had a vestibular migraine all week.) And I won’t explain how weeding old books from the collection helps people, but will stick with ways I helped members when working at the information desk. So here are some of the small ways I got to help people this week.
The biggest activity, naturally enough, is helping people find books. This week, I helped people find:
-a reference book on estimating costs
-books about the artist M. C. Escher
-a book to review for the AP History exam
-a movie to watch this weekend
-a book on aquariums
-some educational books for a woman’s grandkids
-books on fitness
-Amelia Bedelia books
-Magic School Bus books
-Books on Helen Keller
-Books on Susan B. Anthony
-Short stories for members of an ESL class to read
And my favorite of that type:
-Books for a mother to read to her daughter’s second grade class
Some other interesting ways I helped:
When in the Virginia Room, I helped someone research a book on local history.
I figured out how to print three chapters from the Bible, triple-spaced, for a lady to mark up and bring to her Bible study group.
I helped someone figure out how to fill out an online application that was using Excel.
I watched the Virginia Room librarian give some extra donated maps to a map-obsessed ten-year-old boy. (That was very cool and was not me helping, but was another librarian helping. That boy may well be a cartographer some day.)
I helped someone view the 1940 census within Ancestry.
And my favorite of this type: When in the Virginia Room, I helped someone find out information about a distant relative he’d lost track of who recently died in this area. He had thought the relative lived overseas, and wanted to find out if this was really him and some more information. It was. I found some information and called back and left a message. He called the next day to thank me, saying the info was just what he wanted!
So, those are some small but satisfying ways I got to help people this week. How about you? Librarians, who did you help this week? Library members, how did librarians help you this week?
Spread the word: Librarians Help!
Edited to add: I thought I should mention which books the Mom picked to read to the 2nd grade class out of the pile I pulled out for her to consider:
Happy Birthday to You! by Dr. Seuss (it’s her daughter’s birthday this week)
The Pigeon Wants a Puppy, by Mo Willems
A Visitor for Bear, by Bonny Becker, illustrated by Kady Denton MacDonald
Millie Waits for the Mail, by Alexander Steffensmeier
Those second graders are in for a great time!