Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Tales of the Roaming Librarian Feb 18th

Today, when I went about Roaming the library, I carried with me the tablet computer and an old-fashioned notepad in a leather case, which I refer to as my i-pad. I can take notes, do calculations, record phone numbers, draw pictures, play Hangman and Tic-Tac-Toe, and it never needs batteries or suffers from poor wifi connections. But that's not the point. The point is, that today the tablet computer had a sign attached to it that proudly proclaimed
which has gotten very positive reviews from all of the library staff that I've shown it to. So far, though, the patrons have not yet caught on to the potential we have to offer. I know people are seeing it, I've gotten a few wry grins from people as I've slowly coasted by. But no other takers as yet. I've asked one or two of my colleagues who also carry this sign with them when they go Roaming, but it seems we're all in the same boat. If we want to prove this concept, we may have to be more assertive about it than we have been so far. Today I saw a few groups of students at tables, all apparently working on the same thing. So if I were a bolder sort, I would stride confidently up, and ask in warm and sincere interest what they were working on, and could I be of any assistance?  The problem for me, I think, is what to do if they should say (as is very possible) "Um, no, thanks, we're good here."  Oh. 
  If I know that is a likely response, then I should be prepared for it, and know that it is not anything personal, and respond with. "All right, if you do need help later, you can ask at one of our service points and someone will be glad to assist you."  But there it is, I know at least a little part of me will take it personally. I have promoted/boosted/pushed for the sign shown above, and I do genuinely enjoy helping students find what they need to do their homework. Yet at the same time, I can't help but think that all I've done is give the student body an opportunity to have a laugh at my expense. So, there is my biggest road-block in a nutshell, my vanity. God help me overcome this vice, and enable me to do my job to the best of my ability. 
    On a lighter note, I did have one curious encounter while I was out and about today. I was walking through the lowest level of the Learning Commons, when, as I was passing by a long study table, I saw a pair of shoes sticking out from under the table's end. This would not have been odd, had there not been feet still in the shoes. I knelt down, and discovered a student lying prone on the floor beneath the table, right at the feet of two other students who were sitting in the chairs at the table, studying. I asked the student under the table if there was anything amiss, and she replied that she was just resting between the two tests she had today. She confirmed that the two students directly above knew her, and that she was there. They promised not to kick their friend, apart from a friendly toe-tap so that she wouldn't sleep through the second exam. As the recumbent student was not in distress nor causing a commotion, I wished her well on her exam, and after admonishing her friends to not forget or neglect her, I Roamed on. 

The things that go on in the library. Hmmm. 

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