Working the ask a librarian desk Thoughts on Trying to Be Useful or What am I supposed to do now?!
Useful mindsets And principles Or It’s pretty hard to go wrong With these
Your problem is my problem. Jan. ‘08 -- Ken Venet, Barry University
“Looking things up and finding things out” is fundamentally a pleasurable activity.
A chat is a conversation. March ‘08 -- Jan G., Palm Beach County Library
Good will and a sense of humor can foster cooperation and set an optimistic tone. Jan. ’08 -- Louis Rosen, Ask A Librarian staff Feb. ‘08 -- Neil Linger, Univ. College Library at BCC
As a librarian, you have the ability— and the responsibility—to keep the chat moving with clarity and focus. Pleasantly guide the chat in the direction of answering the core questions, even if the patron “wanders” a bit. Engaging in cordial exchanges to establish rapport and foster comfort in the session is often a big plus! Relax, be yourself, and connect with the patron. But remember:
You don’t have to be a technology genius. Make the best use you can of the software, but don’t think you must use every feature in order to be of help.
Some chats will teach you something new, factual or procedural. Enjoy the adventure and share your enthusiasm with the patron.
It isn’t over when it’s over. In some way, try to prepare the patron for his future information gathering. “Power to the patron!”
Just do the best you can. You won’t always be able to find the answer. You won’t always think of the most efficient strategies. You won’t always make best use of the service’s software and capabilities. You can always make a reasonable effort.
Practical advice You’ve probably Already thought of Or “There’s no mystery to this!