Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Oh Library, How I've Missed You.

I started an internship at my library this week. A few things it has made me realize (or, actually, remember):

1. I've really missed my job. Shelving just isn't the same. I've missed helping people.

2. My love for public libraries only continues to grow.

I love public libraries because of the questions that get thrown at you when you're working the reference desk, and even when you're not. People will ask you questions about anything! Which makes my job so much fun.

Today was my first day back on the reference desk where I was actually allowed to answer questions, and not just observe.

My first question, via phone, was an easy one (and one we public librarians get constantly for the first 4 or 5 months of the year):

"Do you have tax forms? State and Federal?"

Question 2: Also via phone was from a woman who wanted me to locate a book for her. When I couldn't find it after several minutes of searching, I took her information and told her I would do some more research and call her back. It turns out that the book she wanted didn't actually exist, but instead was an online internet archive hosted by a university. When I called her back to give her this information, she was surprised, but even more surprised when I had a web address for her and explained what it was she would be looking at.

This was followed by many more tax questions. Which will not end until the end of April. And this is how many librarians feel by the end of tax season:

I then was approached by a woman who pulled out a letter. This letter was from 1902. She wasn't sure what language it was in, but she wanted to know if we could help her translate it. Through trial and error (and some reference interviewing) we discovered that the letter was in Swedish, and we sent her off with a Swedish dictionary, and I told her about online translation sites, such as Google translate.

Followed by tax questions. Lots and lots of tax questions.

This has been day 3 in the life of a new library intern. Who has greatly missed her job, and looks forward to heading back on Friday for another round.