"A library doesn't need windows. A library is a window." – Stewart Brand

Jun 11, 2009

Renewed faith in humanity ;)

I've been thinking about the people I'm interacting with on the reference desk. I subscribe to a number of librarian boards and mailing lists, and as a result I read a lot of horror stories/venting about "bad" patrons. I recognized that these stories were not representative of the vast majority of library patrons (among other things, I subscribe to the library_mofo LiveJournal community, which really skews the sample ;) ), but I still came into this internship a little nervous about having to deal with people who were rude, angry, or indifferent.

I have been so wonderfully surprised. I certainly didn't expect people to be consistently awful, but neither did I expect so much gratitude. Nearly every shift, I am profusely thanked for doing something that's really quite simple and part of my job. People smile, they are polite, they seem to generally appreciate what I do (which goes against all the angsty library scholarship I've been reading recently...). The woman who tried to quibble over her inability to renew two magazines was more than counterbalanced by the woman who calmly and politely accepted that she couldn't put something on hold because she had $30 in fines and said she'd pay them as soon as she could.

I definitely think much more highly of people in general because of this job!

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