Saturday, April 25, 2009

Catalog/reference headaches

A lot of times, after 1 hour on the reference desk, I need to talk a walk, go outside, something, just get away. The following interaction is an example of what I'm referring to.

Patron: Can you help me find out if the library has a book?

Me: Sure, do you know the title?

Patron: No.

Me: Do you know the author's name?

Patron: No.

Me: Do you know the any of the subjects, that the book might fall under?

Patron: No. Can you just show me how to find a book?

Me: Do you want me to show you how to locate a book on the floor, or in the library
Patron: Can you show me how to find a book online?

Me: Do you want to know how to locate a book in our system, or on the computer itself?

Patron: Yes, can you show me how to find a book in your system?

Me: Is there any particular topic that you are interested in?

Patron: (She is with her husband) No, we just want to find a book.

This went back and forth for about 5 minutes, before I took them over to the online catalogs. I had the woman sit down, and showed them the basics. I then gave them a schedule of the free computer training classes offered by the library. I also pointed out to her that they need to take the Basic Online Catalog class.


rumī­ur said...

LOL shoot after reading this I need to take my own walk. I don't know how you do it lol but somebody got to do it, thanks Ms. Librarian! (Nexgrl)

Nexgrl said...

Whoo thank you for appreciating the job that I do. Just think, that's just one partial example.

bglen said...

and they were from what galaxy?

Rashan Jamal said...

I would have just walked over to the stacks and pointed. I also probably would not be able to work there for more than a day without going off.

a said...

hilarious. Love your blog. I read it when i feel like escaping my own ghetto library in Southeast Atlanta...

(My old manager told me to read it once- ive been hooked ever since...)

Nexgrl said...

I think the librarian at the information desk sent them to our floor. Instead of trying to answer a question, they send folks to the 3rd flr.
I would have gladly pointed them in the right direction, but they didn't want a book. They wanted on the spot detailed internet instruction. Yes, I agree, a good reference librarian, you would not be. They wouldn't fire you, they'd just limit the amount of public contact that you'd have.
Thanks for finally venturing out of lurkdom. I believe that I know who your former boss is.