Yesterday I felt that I was on fire, teaching our new summer clerks about legal and business research. I’ve realized that if I’m not passionate about these subjects, I’m going to be bored by them - so I might as well be passionate. I made a couple of mistakes, and my preparation wasn’t ideal due to a combination of being unwell and the reference desk being extremely busy lately. But I won’t dwell on those negatives. There’s always going to be some flaw and always some room for improvement. Instead I’d like to remember those moments when I felt that the students were engaged and really learning something. And there seemed to be more of those moments than the previous time I did training, so that was really good. I felt more comfortable the more I deviated from the specifics of the lesson plan and did my own thing and used my own examples.
Contrast that with this evening. My late shift finished a while ago, and there’s nobody in the library except for me. My urgent research task involves digging through one of those large recycling bins on wheels. I’m thinking sarcastically, I’m so glad I became a librarian so I could be doing this in my free time!
I’m looking for back issues of the Age newspaper. We only keep the printed newspapers for a month and then they go into the recycling bin. 99% of the time we don’t need them, we rely on our database subscriptions. This evening it was my fortune to fall into that 1% where we needed the print because the solicitor needed to see the ads in those newspapers.
They needed these newspaper ads for a meeting with a client tomorrow morning, so it couldn’t wait until the morning - and if it did, it was likely that this recycling bin would have been emptied overnight.
Tonight I think I reached my limit of what I’m willing to do to answer a reference question. I may dig through a recycling bin of discarded library material, but there’s no way I’d go through the trash. And I’m going to suggest that we get newspaper back issues on microfiche.