I love helping out the next generation of library staff. These are people who are currently undertaking library studies at either TAFE or University, who approach us as they are doing a case study on our library.
We have quite a bit of information already available on our website, but they are usually seeking the sort of information which is not readily available on our website, because it is of no interest to our library users.
So queries about departments, cataloguing practices and much more, end up coming to us directly. And we are happy to spend time answering those questions, in person, on the phone and via email – which is how these requests come in – often at the last minute (no different to kids with school assignment really, lol).
We also further support these students with placements so they can experience working in a public library first hand. We do our best to show them the whole picture, from talking to manager and learning about the different aspects of library service behind the scenes, to working at the coal face in the branches.
As an Information Librarian, it is gratifying because you are helping them to find the information they seek, but its extra special when you are on the receiving end of sincere and heartfelt thanks – along the lines of “thank you so much for your time, I really appreciate it, you didn’t have to that, etc, etc.
This sort of response, which we receive in almost every instance, gives me confidence that the next generation of library staff will be just as amazing as those who have gone before. Librarians are caring, sharing, helpful and enthusiastic and its nice to see that those who will follow will be just the same.