marathon refgrunt

Yes, those computers have powerpoint, but be sure to save your work to a disc often.

Tour group. Never believe anything a student tour worker tells you about the library.

Student worker vanishes with my keys. Wither goeth mine keys?!

Stapler is right there

And so is the 3 hole punch

More tours.

A tour yet again

Phone call, a guy is calling to see if his girlfriends shoes are in lost and found (!)

Yes we have Russian dictionaries right over there

Yet another tour

That book is at another library, you can still check it out though.

“How do I know where a book is? Is there any way I can search for that?”
You can look up books by clicking on the library catalog link on any of those computers, if you need any help just let me know. (I debated just offering to look the book up for her, but I decided it might be good for her to try using the library catalog, if she hadn’t seen it before. She finds the call number for her book, comes back, and I tell her where to go to find it.)

He’s found a weird glitch in a catalog record. Book has no call number or location info. I get a rough idea of the call number from WorldCat and tell him all about interlibrary loan, just in case. I print out the funky record for tech services.

Her entire class has all copies of this book checked out — we can request it for you from interlibrary loan.

Another tour.

I get my keys back.

I escape the desk for 10 minutes to chug a bagel. And some iced coffee. I’m starving!

Oy, An engineering student needs help. I’m not so great at engineering. I show her some databases and we find a couple of promising books although it takes some time to hit on the right subject heading in the catalog. I give her the contact info for the engineering librarian and suggest she contact him if she has trouble finding anything for her research project.

How to get on the Internet in the library with a laptop.

Another tour.

Very very tricky journal abbreviation. I can’t find the full title in the database giving the reference, it doesn’t seem to be in the handy Periodical Title Abbreviations: By Abbreviation book, I try Ulrichs, Arts and Humanities Citation Index, and then just searching on the web hoping to pull something up. Student has to go, I give him the info of the librarian who specializes in his subject area and suggest that he consults her for follow-up.

Where to get coffee.

Person overhears a tour (I was not paying attention to the content of the tour since I was helping someone) and comes up to ask where the computer lab is, he needs to write something. Um, those computers over there have a few microsoft office programs on them. But where is the lab the tour guide was talking about? There isn’t an open computer lab in the library, all our rooms with computers are used only for teaching. But the guide said there was a lab. Maybe he was talking about the computer lab next door. No he said it was in the library. Well, the tour guides don’t always give out totally accurate information, I’m sorry we really don’t have a computer lab in this building. Feel free to use those computers over there though, if you need Microsoft Word. This is why no one should believe what they overhear on a tour!

Call for circ desk.

Phone call. Yes, we are open!

Chicago manual of style. He doesn’t like the big orange book so I also give him one of our quick citation handouts that has a few examples.

Here is a paperclip.

You can add money to your copy card over there.

Call for circ desk.

I call over to see if the wireless computer people are in for a student who needs help. Looks like they’re gone. She says she’ll go in tomorrow.

This is how you get your copy card out of the machine.

Where is the reference bin? The bin? Were you looking for reference books on a particular subject? It turns out the books were on a cart and haven’t been reshelved yet. I Wonder where she got the terminology “bin”. I suspect the circ desk.

Very impatient student wants books on a particular subject but doesn’t seem to want to know how to search for it herself, or that she might have to try a couple ways of searching for what she wants. She’s super-impatient and doesn’t want to hear that the first book I pulled up might not be exactly what she wants. “I’ll just look through it! It’ll be fine!” So I give her the call number.

Oy, a Chemistry student needs some help. We try one of our online reference sources and don’t seem to be finding anything, so I give her the call numbers of a few handbooks that I think might have what she needs and tell her to come back if she doesn’t find what she’s looking for.

Student from another university wants to know where our bound periodicals are. This is the call number, here is a map of the library, your journal should be over there.

Very slaphappy and giggly student needs to quickly edit a word document but all the computers with software on them are taken, so I have her step behind the ref desk to edit her document on the 2nd ref desk computer.

Mouse on one of the ref desk computers isn’t working, so I go back to one of the student machines in the office area that isn’t being used, snag an extra mouse and connect it to the computer. Huzzah for cannibalizing parts from other computers!

Statistics on teacher salaries, I show her statistical universe.

I finally unsubscribe from NEWLIB-L, which I’ve been finding very toxic and unpleasant to read recently. I’m sure being a new librarian or hunting for a new library job can also be both toxic and unpleasant, but there isn’t really a need for me to read this listserv any longer. I do however find Dorothea’s post on the lame antitech stuff that gets tossed around every so often very untoxic and quite pleasant.

His paper is due in 2 days and it happens to be a popular topic, so I try and find the few books we have that aren’t checked out and concentrate on showing him some of the full text sources he can use for his topic (which are plentiful).

Looks like all of our copies of The Stranger in French are all checked out.

Phone call:How late is the DVD library open? I tell her the hours of the media library.

I take a break and eat some tootsie rolls and watery iced coffee. I forgot to bring my apples and carrots but somehow remembered the tootsie rolls. Funny, that.

I’m really tired. It is probably not a bad idea to stay up late playing Katamari Damacy before a long reference shift. I kept sleeping way late over the weekend, I think due to allergies.
I think instead of having computers in the library, students should soak up knowledge by rolling a sticky katamari around the library. Whoever ends up with the most books, citations, and journals stuck to their katamaris gets an A on their research paper! I need a nap!!!!!

Printing problems from JSTOR. Damn you JSTOR, and your high resolution article images!!!! I reboot the printer and it seems to be all better.

Phone call about finding an English law from the 1500s. Hmm. I try to think back to my distant past when I worked on a finding aid for British Government documents when I was in grad school. I’m pretty sure that we have nothing that I used to use when locating British gov docs. Woo! Caller is a grad student who actually has a citation for a legal reference book that reprints the law. We don’t have it but other area libraries do.

Paper due in a couple days about gender issues in the Soviet Union. Have you tried Sociological Abstracts yet?

Tibetan bodhisattvas, for a paper due in a couple days. I show her some books and humanities article databases.

Here is some scratch paper

Here are the scissors.

Yep, we sure don’t have that journal. so you can request that article from Interlibrary Loan

Call for circ desk

How to e-mail yourself an article from JSTOR

Call for circ desk.

You’re welcome! (A student who I had referred to the writing center on campus had a good tutoring session and stopped by to say thanks.)

She wants Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations

That book is over there

I find another book on Tibetan Buddhist ritual. Man, library catalogs are lame — this book didn’t come up before. Student comments on my inspired use of the “magic librarian parentheses”.

How to find short story collections in the library catalog….after talking to her it sounds like she’s looking for the Best American Short Stories Series, which we have. Hey, I didn’t realize Lorrie Moore edited the 2004 volume. She is one of my favorite authors.

You can get that from Interlibrary loan

Phone call for the circ desk.

Student wants an quick and easy way to get an MLA citation from the catalog. It appears that he wants to click a button and have the catalog spit out a perfectly formed bibliography. I tell him about RefWorks and demonstrate how he would use it, but that doesn’t seem to be quick enough for him, and he would rather cut and paste from the catalog. OK.

Time to go home!!!!!!!