First week wrap-up

27 Aug

Tours: As noted, Monday’s tour ended with knives. Tuesday’s actually concluded with applause, which either means that I give amazing freaking tours or that years of theatre left me well-trained in cuing audiences that, yes, now is when you clap. Considering one of the kids from that tour followed me back to my office to ask for a job, maybe it was the former. In any case, now I’m gonna be disappointed in any future tours which lack cheering. We must be discriminating when choosing which disappointments to set ourselves up for.

Booth: I didn’t mention this, but last week I put in a couple hours at the Cornell University Library booth at the big “Welcome Frosh” fair in Barton Hall. I tried to give out helpful information, and ended learning a few things myself:

  • A lot of kids want to work at the library, but parents are the ones who get excited by the notion in droves.
  • In times of incipient and developing change, it’s important to speak definitively in the present tense.
  • No one rolls their eyes quite like an 18-year-old whose mom is asking if we have any libraries that are open 24 hours on weekends.

Reference: I answered my first co-op chat question this week, in addition to my usual shift on CU chat. I have a feeling that working with other library’s online resources is gonna show me just how bad catalogs can get, but overall I think it’ll be a good experience.

I also answered a bunch of in-person questions, which is generally more fun. These ranged from helping a lot of students wrangle their online reserves — which got me doing a compare-and-contrast between what I was seeing them deal with and with what I experienced in library school; whole ‘nother post there, I think — to getting someone up and running on research for their honors thesis. I am still vaguely surprised that I’m able to answer ref questions in a reasonably competent manner; maybe I’ll get less so as the years pile on.

Less surprised, not less competent. C’mon people; work with me here.

I was tempted to call this a post-mortem, but a) that sounds a bit too morbid, and b) I’ve got the better part of the day left, which will include another ref desk shift and at least one interview with a potential student employee. So this thing ain’t dead yet.

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