Thursday, February 27, 2014

Public Librarianship: "It's not what you do, but how you do it"

Last week I helped an elderly patron place a book on hold and find a book on the shelves.  Typical patron interaction which I conducted in my usual means, but her reaction made it seem different.  After I checked out the book for her, she was extremely grateful and told me, "Thank you so much, it really is not what you do, but how you do it.  It's nice to receive this kind of service.  And I should know because I was a teacher my whole life."  On her way out, she even made a point to find me and thank me again while I was shelving some material in the new adult section.

My online persona can be very different than how I really am in the library.  This is a place for me to vent when dealing with the frustrations that one encounters when dealing with the public and working in such a troubling field as librarianship.  I do my best to help every single patron I meet, even if some are extremely ungrateful and rude.  I didn't do anything out of the ordinary for her either, it's not like I jump-started her car or changed a flat tire which I would have gladly done for her.  Her comments were very touching but it made me wonder what kind of horrible experiences she might have had in the past when dealing with public librarians.  I may be an extremely jaded librarian, but I know how to repress it while I'm on the reference desk, it's part of the job.

No comments:

Post a Comment