I was on the reference desk for an extended period of time yesterday. I wasn’t all that worried about it because, really, who is in the library on a Sunday night? I had a few inquiries via phone and chat and I was feeling pretty good about the night because it gave me time to catch up on course work.
About 2 hours before the end of my shift a patron came in and began asking me a standard question. I did my best to explain it and assured her I’d be available for more help if need be, as I could tell that even logging in was going to be a bit of an ordeal.
Being that I’m was a college campus surrounded by 18-20somethings on a Sunday night, it caught me off guard that a patron would need such assistance and that I was the only teacher available. Teacher. That is a bold word. Not just a retriever, organizer, or disseminater. A teacher.
Admittedly, after trying to conceptualize to her the how to save to a disk or attach something to email for the 10th time my patience was tried a bit, but I was reminded of a class discussion we’d had a few months ago concerning this very thing. And more importantly, it is my job to answer questions–no matter how simplistic, obscure, or frustrating they may be. At the end of my shift and successful completion of an email attachment I called it a night. And I was satisfied to be a librarian (of sorts).