Friday, June 13, 2014

Tales of the Roaming Librarian - Early Summer edition

"A million, million lifeforms . . . and silence in the library."         
- The Doctor (David Tennant), "Silence in the Library" Series 4, Episode 8.

That's what I've been thinking about as I walked around the library the last week or so.  It's been very quiet. Now, some of you might think that an odd complaint coming from a librarian; aren't we supposed to want everyone to be quiet in here? 

Well, I don't. 

It is a lot of fun to Roam around the library, seeing students working, or not, talking, reading, watching TV or movies, and just generally enjoying our space. It makes me feel important and useful, quite frankly. 

Since the end of the semester, I've had not one actual reference-type interaction with a patron. I've stopped and chatted with folk, and talked about the library generally. I've given a few people directions, and walked folks to where they wanted to be, but no specific assistance has been required.  

Here's the view from the balcony overlooking the main reading room. 
 I'm kidding, again, obviously. This is the Library of Congress. But it is just as empty as it feels in our library. I want the students back!

We have groups of Education majors from our online degree program in here during their week-long intensives. But they are pretty self-contained; they get Testing kits from the Curriculum librarian (seen here) 
 This is actually Mayfield Cole, first librarian for Concord Library, Concord, NC
and sit in the group study rooms Testing each other (I have no idea what this accomplishes). The closest I've come to assisting any of them was by sitting where I could see into two group rooms (they all have glass walls) and reporting to the professor my observations on how the two groups interacted with each other. One was all professional and serious, sitting around the table like it was a board meeting; the other sat back, reclined in their chairs, laughed and talked and applauded each other. 

I hope to see the Roaming program continue into the new school year; the more we keep at it and promote it, the better we will communicate to the students what we librarians have been saying all along:

"We're here to help".

Have a good summer, all you bibliophiles and lovers of libraries.



Image sources:
Library of Congress: www.pixabay.com
Ms. Cole: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mayfield_Cole_Librarian.jpg

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