Librarian Ire

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

New semester

It's a new semester so that means more work. Mostly reserves and training. Students want a job so I get to train. That's the bulk of my week.
The neophytes I have been training for the last few days are pretty good. Neophyte is the word of the day. "A new convert or beginner."
Very apt. We try to convert them to the ways of the library. How to treat books and use the resources to get the most out of them.
At the moment, however, they are happy and content. They are enjoying themselves. They have no concept of what awaits them in the secrets of the library. But they will.
Call slips, ILL paging, shelving, holds, recalls, reserves, charging and discharging items and my favorite, directional questions. Like where are the stacks? And when they know all that we hit them with library policies. How many books you can check out for reserves, (2 at one time) cell phones,(NOT IN THE LIBRARY!), food, (IF I CATCH YOU YOU'RE DEAD!!) and checking things out without an id, (yeah right).
Last night we had a prime training situation for my night student. A second semester grad student came in wanting a book off reserve. He had never been in the library before. He was actually proud of that fact. I told him that wasn't something to brag about. I mean how'd you graduate from college, Sparky if you didn't use a library? He had no idea how to use the reserves, where the copiers were, or where the stacks were. Those are usually the ones who think working in the library is paid study time. Which it isn't here. We make you work for your money. We try not to hire those people, but I digress.
The student knew just what to do. She showed him the reserve page and told him how it worked and explained the system. I was quite proud of her. Pretty good for someone who was working her first night shift. And what's even better the student actually understood it all. Sometimes they are clueless. No matter who explains it and how they never get it.
I worry about higher education in those moments.

1 comment(s):

I'd add a few things to your post:

First, a "BwahHaHaHa" after the 'but they will' comment.

As for food - it should be "Librarians can but not YOU! Ha!"

And as for student help. As I am currently doing hiring, training, scheduling... I have long ago accepted that most students do look at the library job as paid studying. The key is hiring those students who don't tell you they believe this. If they tell you, they're idiots. If not, why then you can guess they're a little smarter and sneakier than others and you can count on them to do what they have to right away so they can get to their studying. Or if they study they don't get caught. I'm ok with that. My expectations are met.

By Blogger Loki, at 11:28 AM  

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