It’s been over three months that I’ve been working at the Edgewood College Library. My shifts at the reference desk there (usually a few hours a day) certainly have been a different experience compared to staffing the reference desk at a public library.
At the public library, I tended to do a lot of quick reference (new books are over there, videos can be checked out for a week, sorry all copies of The DaVinci Code are checked out, etc.). Sure, once in a while I had an involved question, but usually I had to take care of the person in a “quick and dirty” manner, because someone else was waiting for help. In general, questions I’ve been getting from college students can be much more involved and challenging. This is a good thing. Challenging questions make the job a lot more interesting. Most of the time, I’m able to have the satisfaction of sticking with the student until I know they found the information needed.
College students I’ve helped also seem to be a lot more appreciative than the patrons at my former public library. Perhaps that’s because I am able to spend more time with the college students. However, I also believe many of them know the value of having a librarian around to help them. My public library experience was that you often had to educate the public (or should I say taxpayers) as to how important libraries and librarians are.
So remember to thank your librarian. But please don’t give them any of your corny pickup lines.