Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tales of the Roaming Librarian - September edition

Some times it's not easy being a Roaming Librarian. It is an unhappy truth that even when we make ourselves on-the-spot available and advertise who we are and what we're doing, the students still have to decide that they want to ask us for help.
September is apparently Art month here in the library. While I've been out Roaming I've encountered:

A student in on of our group study rooms writing on the walls. It's OK, the walls are basically dry erase boards, so that students have plenty of room to make notes and such. This student was drawing clothing designs. There were four or five near-life-size female figures on the walls, all in some kind of modern dress design. The Roaming Librarian does not know women's fashion, he only knows how to do research about it. 

A student with an architect's rule, sitting on the landing of one of our open staircases. He said that from there he had the best vantage point to draw our lobby and main service desk. I spotted several more architectural tools in the area at the bottom of the staircase. 

A student in one of the Learning Commons areas, with her sketch pad spread across the table, making some revisions to a drawing of a statue. I asked her a few questions about her class, and about technique, and learned about the different markings on pencils, which indicate the hardness of the graphite. The harder the graphite, the lighter shade of gray it will produce on paper. Nifty.

Other notable interactions of late:
  • helping a student find books on inter-cultural marriage
  • recommending a few books on Orthodox Christianity to a student
  • discussing a nursing exam on the menstrual cycle with nursing majors
  • locating commentaries on the Acts of the Apostles for a student
A student actually came looking for me this week. I had spoken in his Criminal Justice class, and he sought me out for help. He was having trouble finding the kind of research he wanted on the phenomena of 'tunnel vision'. The databases were giving him info on glaucoma, not the psychological condition in which fear or adrenaline cause you to over-focus on one point, and miss all the visual data around you. 
Stay away from the light!

Before long we had located an alternative term, "perceptual distortion" from an article indexed by the NCJRS, National Criminal Justice Reference Service. From there his research got back on track, as he now had a more technically accurate term to search on.

Oh and for bonus points, I saw a lizard in the garden outside. 

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