Any time I have a problem while working at the Circulation Desk I call the “Library Telephone Center.” There is always a friendly voice on the other end who patiently helps me through updating patron records or fixing multiple records. They can also be contacted to renew books. To me, the Phone Center became a magical non-existent place that fixed my problems. I didn’t know the people on the other end of the line. I didn’t know where they were. Were they on campus? Downstairs? Across town? Guam? I liked the mysterious nature of calling them.
Somewhere along the way in my undergraduate career I did an ethnographic study on the library’s bookstacks and was given a tour of the main by the head librarian. Turns out it’s a room with chairs and computers in which a student or two sits around with headphones on answering the calls that diminish as the campus becomes increasingly tech savvy. The mystery is gone. But I still like calling. Someone needs to.