Friday, February 13, 2009


I always knew that being a librarian would not be glamorous. Let me rephrase that, I suspected it wouldn't be all that glamorous and, to a degree, I was right. It isn't. It is enjoyable, but not especially glamorous, which is fine by me. There is one problem, though. One teeny-tiny, itsy-bitsy problem that I hadn't really thought about. It can be boring. Particularly on a Friday late-afternoon. The little clock at the bottom of the screen tells me its 5:09 pm. If I stood up, I could probably count all the patrons on two hands, maybe.

Jockeying the reference desk on a Friday afternoon, late in the day can be an excercise in endurance. Not because its hard work, or busy, but because the opposite is true. It can, and it is right now, quiet.  It is beastly quiet right now, which is actually kind of nice. The reference room can be, in a word, cacophonic at times. There can be a dull roar at others. This soft hum is actually refreshing.  

Fridays are interesting for another reason.  That's the day I usually field a call or two from professors working in their office looking for articles and having a hard time navigating the database.  Its nice to have the "power" over them for a little bit.  Recently, I had a conversation with one professor who was adamant that they were the "database queen" (her words, not mine) and that she knew how to use this particular database... there was a smartaleck in me that wanted to say "obviously the opposite is true," but alas, the smarter, more reasoned little voice won out.  

I am a library geek, I know I am.  So I actually get off on trying to help someone with database searching or just general searching.  I was thrilled the other day when I actually was able to use a print resource (that doesn't happen all that much, sadly).  I dig it when I have to work with a database I've never used before.  For the most part, one database works that same as another, but its how you get to the information that is the key.  For example an "Ebsco" database is much easier for me to use then say an "Ovid" one.  The "user interface," to use the "parlance of our day" is much more "user friendly," than some of the others that I use.  

So, Fridays come and go.  If it's quiet and it usually is, I work on my budget for the next two weeks, or I read, or, because it sits in front of me all day, I'll surf the internet, that gets boring after a while.  The key to a Friday evening is this: get up and move around.  Walk around a bit and dont' watch the clock. 

1 comment:

Spencer Corkum with Davin Paralee said...

Information junky, that is good, I always comment that I am a news junky not for any strong reason, but I shy away from any meaning that might slide into trivia. Eric Hoffer's lifestyle intrigued me in my college years. Brevity is often best. Many libraries will likely in the future be turning into computer rooms, probably in the same room where newspapers were displayed.