July 27, 2010

Library Day in the Life: Round 5, Day 2 (Tuesday)

Is it really only Tuesday? Before I get to anything else, let's first talk about germs. It's unbelievable how many germs it's possible to pick up as a public services librarian. I actually got sick at the beginning of this month with a cold, I think from not washing my hands often enough after being on the reference desk. Now, I'm adamant about washing my hands throughout the day, and especially immediately after helping a patron who might be sick.

Today has been kind of crazy with students needing help setting up campus accounts and filling out FAFSA. I think there were 20 reference questions on campus help alone in a 2-hour period (and most took longer than just 5 minutes to help the student); I think I probably actually sat at the desk during my time out there for maybe 10 minutes. Some days are just like that, though. We are going to be getting trained on the campus registration forms and procedures so we can help students when they have those questions -- right now, financial aid, admissions, and counselors are sending them up to the library to do all this stuff, but we're not sure how to help them. When we don't know the answer, we have to send them back down to wait in incredibly long lines, so hopefully this will help.

Otherwise, during my office time, I started reading more materials on instruction and information-seeking behavior. I'm back out on the desk when my lunch break is over in 30 min., and I might try to order a few more books, but I'm guessing there will still be a ton of questions. Tomorrow, I'm working an evening shift downtown, so that will be my first time working at night at this campus (I regularly work some nights at our satellite campus)... so, until then.