Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Study Hard!



I've realized while studying for my upcoming midterm in this class, and having already taken two,I've learned that Librarians love acronyms. I can't even begin to count how many terms I've learned with an acronym.

The funny part is, as long as I've worked in a library (6+ years) I've never heard a single one of them used in context. This leads me to wonder, how many other things are going to be extranious knowledge. While I realize a librarian is "a jack of all trades, Master of none", am I going to be a walking, well groomed Trivial Persuit game?

This could have its advantages, I'm sure of that. But am I actually going to get to apply Ranganathan's principles anytime soon? Do we actually use the term "Pearl Fishing" in context, or is the theory just applied to what we are doing so that we can call it by its true name?

Some of the other stuff I'm learning makes me laugh. I can't imagine that anyone in my class could suppose anything else:

1. smile, be friendly
2. listen carefully, take interest
3. Take each question seriously
4. Keep asking questions, until you’ve got it
5. don’t think of strategy until you have the question completely stated
6. Never think you know the answer, use all reference tools
7. Invite user to return if more help is needed

Thanks to Linda Smith and Richard Bopp, I now know that the 7 principles of interviewing a patron can't happen like this:

me: Smoking a cigarette while thumbing through Italian Vogue, wearing a black Gucci two button
Patron: sipping a martini, wearing an Oscar worthy dress, taking small steps in Jimmy Chu shoes

me: Dahhhling, how can I help you (without looking up from the magazine)
patron: I adore that two button, and where did you find that tortoise shell cigarette holder?
me: Is that your question?
patron: Aren't you a clever little monkey, no, I wanted to know where the nearest Chanel boutique is?
me: (getting comfortable in my chocolate leather club chair) Are you serious? We are in the mid-west! How many of those cocktails have you had?
patron: (laughing loudly, digging through her small, but very smart handbag) I just received this (pulling out a fabulous Isadora Duncanesque scarf) and wanted a different color! Aren't you charming? Here, let me light that next cigarette....
me: I'm feeling peckish, shall we go get some nibblies?
patron: you are the best librarian in the world!
me: yes, but this is all part of the job....

My world is shattered. All this time I've been having "Thin Man" fantasies of life. I suppose all of the above could happen, only since its not 1930 anymore, women just don't carry small and smart handbags anymore.

Oh well.

Time to study a bit more.

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