I am a graduate student, studying library science. I also work in a public library – which is wonderful, because I am getting experience in my field while studying and having constant conversation about the profession.
So – recently, I have made some goals in my head for how I want to improve. The past two days I have had some successes and I just want to share.
First goal – communicate with the person in charge and security. In my library, every day we have an experienced librarian deemed as the person in charge (PIC). This person is set up as the person to communicate any issues. Anything from a major incident to needing toilet paper in one of our bathrooms. So, yesterday the computers in the childrens and teen room were down and all troubleshooting was not working. Usually, I email my supervisor, but today I decided to talk to the person in charge. She came down and we did some trouble shooting together. We weren’t able to figure it out, but we spoke and that is what matters. Later, I had to transfer a patron’s question up to her, and we spoke again then. I haven’t had the need to ask security to help me with anything, but I feel more confident that I will reach out if the situation arises. It may not seem like much, but I am the type of person to always try to figure stuff out on my own. So, asking for help, especially when I am supposed to, makes me feel like I am doing more to always do the right thing.
Second goal – slow down and listen during reference interview or readers advisory. I think my main issue while doing reference interview and readers advisory is that I want to come across as a good librarian – right away! I know I need to improve on my knowledge of titles and appropriate ages for titles. More experience with readers advisory as well as just time to read and read about books is important. Also, learning more about child development will help me as well. BUT, that comes with time. Right now, I think I have a tendency to just take the first description of what a child wants and then run in all directions with it. That is an issue, because it makes me look scattered and like I really don’t know what I’m talking about. So, I have decided to ask more questions, and don’t be afraid to say “give me a little more” or “so tell me about that” or “does that book have an alternate title?” . So, I had two conversations today, where the first thing I wanted to do was just run over to the computer and type in the main interest of the child, but instead I said “tell me more” and that made so much of a difference! In both interviews I found out that the individual kids were asking a vague question like “Can you tell me where there are stories about fairies?” BUT, as I asked them questions they started describing a plotline and I found out that they were really looking for a book in a series! If I had just thrown fairies into the computer, we may have gotten to the same series in the end, but by having them talk more and with me listening,these kids left feeling so much more excited about what they found than I’ve previously experienced.