In our shared space we have many relationships, with the High School students and staff, the Tafe students and staff the University students and staff and the community, both students (from other learning institutions) and community members. With all of the different levels of conversations and information requests we receive, library staff are switching focus all of the time. I don’t know what others think, but I feel this is a definite skill, it may be a learned thing, but it is a definite skill to think on your feet, and switch levels of knowledge through the day. Information and loans deskwork is all about this having and using this ability.
We know enough to ignore the loud verbal fight between a Tafe lecturer and student as they exited the library and then to offer suggestions to the other two students that were concerned about the problem when the lecturer resigned.
(The student later returned and asked that we ignore the incident as he was only “exercising his right to civil disobedience”?)
We know how to deal with an entire class of High school students that all want the same information asap...
Or the High School teacher who was concerned that his fines from University would follow him...like a spectre...only $7.00 not a problem!
We know to leave the University students alone on Friday or help them if they need it, as they all work through that last minute paper, and lend them a stapler to put it all together as they rush out to hand it in.
We know how to greet the tired reciprocal student from Queensland who is writing her thesis in one of our small study rooms and offer her assistance if we can.
(She is busy selling pizza at night, Fiancée’s business and thinking in the day.)
The tacit knowledge that we build up in knowing how to deal with each level also stands us in good stead, when we meet someone like ‘Jesus’.
This gentleman, from the community, has started to come into the library to use the photocopier, to photocopy a picture he has of Jesus, he photocopies the same photo over and over. He identifies himself with the photo, and was appreciative when I showed him how to enhance the picture by using different settings on the photocopier. We have all had conversations with him about colour and Egyptians and clothing labels.
Things I was asked this week,
Can you show me how to use the computer so I can retype my will?
Do you have a colour photocopier?
Can I lend the stapler? (Who to?)
Do you have a bigger stapler?
How do you save to CD on the public computer?
Can I borrow the stapler?
Do you know the book by “Booker” in the Reserve section?
Can I borrow some bluetac?
Can you resend that document by email? We lost it somehow.
Do you have anything on geography of urban areas?
Do you have a coffee shop? (No, but I wish we did!)
Got to go now as I am using this to avoid completing an assignment...and the bath is already clean. Lol. FeralTB