Today I have (wrapped up a week of crazy and):

  • been reminded that telemarketers have gotten ahold of the phone number to the emergency phone in the elevator.
  • helped someone navigate through Yahoo Italy (“Does that mean log-out in English?”)
  • helped a patron look up info on a potentially antique glass bottle
  • participated in some remote reference for a friend in California about a wine from the 1970’s
  • had chocolate chip pancakes, bacon, and onion rings for lunch (OMG, I know.)
  • tried to determine why specific passages of the Bible had been highlighted in blue

How did you do that?

February 21, 2008

One of my favorite parts of being a librarian is when I answer a question for someone and they respond with, “How did you do that?”

Today, I had a patron ask for our phone book to find the address to a store. It wasn’t in the phone book, and so I offered to look it up in Yahoo Yellow Pages, and in Google Maps. We found the address, and looked at the map to determine a cross street and how long her walk might be. She was astounded that all this information was in one place, and she asked, “How did you do that?” And so I showed her how to search Google Maps. It was fantastic.

Being a librarian isn’t just about having the answers. We shouldn’t hoard information. It’s just as important to answer a question as it is to show someone how they can use our awesome information-finding tools, too. It’s a great and very rewarding part of the job.

I’m drinking coffee out of my library-approved travel mug and searching the catalog for books on wildlife rehabilitation centers for Kelly and adding blog after blog to my Google Reader (yes, wildlife rehabilitation centers have blogs, too.) I love blogs as information sources because, when I want to learn something new about a subject, I want to learn from someone who is like me, who is involved in the subject, and who is doing it NOW and wants to share their experience. I don’t just want vegan recipes, I want the stories behind them and the cheers from the people who created them and their pictures of how the dish turned out. I don’t just want a how-to manual about starting my own farm, (though if I could find one, I’m sure it wouldn’t go amiss) I want someone’s tale of how they went from City Girl to Farm Girl. I want that immediate connection with another person. And I want their blogrolls and del.icio.us bookmarks, too.

On Monday, I’m attending a conference on Library 2.0, and so long as I don’t get lost in Manchester, I’ll hopefully have a day filled with bonding with other NH librarians and brainstorming how to get people addicted to the information sources they hardly even knew were out there.

user-generated *wavy hands*

September 6, 2007

Today I have:

  1. Explained to a patron why poetry is classified as non-fiction in our library (and a little bit about how Dewey works and how literature in general is classified in LoC.)
  2. Power-cycled the network and brought the wireless back.
  3. Searched under the seat cushions of of all the chairs on the second floor for a patron’s lost cell phone. Result: No cell phone, but two fantasy books about dragons.

Currently, I am trying to write coherently about user-generated content and the customizability of nearly every part of our online experience, but this sort of stuff gets me so excited that I’m saying things like, *wavy hands,* and “my love for this site cannot be textually rendered” which really isn’t going to make any sense to my boss – I mean, unless she’s been reading my LiveJournal.