My first hour at the help desk at my library was awesome! I remember when I was a reference student a few years ago when I started working at my library, and not really being in love with it. There were some fun things that I liked about it, such as engaging with patrons via our webchat tool, but sometimes I was very anxious and scared that I would get a ridiculous question that I wouldn’t know how to answer and I would act like a blubbering idiot. Today, however, I felt quite differently. I was energized and invigorated, and I think that shown through to the patrons with whom I interacted.
First, my trainer and I began going through emergency procedures (Snoresville, USA, amiright?) and only got through bomb threats. BOMB THREATS?! Fortunately my trainer has never known a bomb threat to take place during the time he has worked here, so optimistically speaking this will never happen. But if it does – whoa, buddy do I know how to handle it! Please, no one call in a bomb threat, though, seriously. Thanks.
Then we had a few simple Word formatting questions from a patron, so we took care of that, and of course recorded the questions in LibStats! LibStats is this thing that I couldn’t stand when I was a student because when I needed to use it was when we were the busiest and I couldn’t keep track of recording all the questions that were shot at me. Right now, though, with the slow times of summer, it won’t be too bad and hopefully I’ll get in the habit of using it before fall comes around. We have record every single question we get into LibStats. It’s kind of ridiculous, but I’ll play along.
There was a call that my trainer took that was a faculty member asking about any library owned plagiarism software. Learning opportunity! I did not know there was such a thing as plagiarism software! There are a few out there; one that is widely used is called Turn It In, and there is another called iThenticate. I was pretty excited to learn about this, and I am eager to share it with any patron who may have a question about it in the future.
He got me all set up with a webchat account that I can log into for IM back-up when I am at the desk. That is pretty neat.
To finish out the hour we helped a few music students retrieve some sheet music from the 4th floor that is closed off right now because it is being re-carpeted. We couldn’t find one so I looked in sorting, and still couldn’t find it. So we referred the young ladies to the circulation desk to fill out a search request form for the item. One of the ladies is a friend of mine, so we were yucking it up while Jason and I were delivering EXEMPLARY patron service (heh…).
Alright, that was a super nerdy, much-too specific account of my time at the help desk today, but I think I got the excitement out of my system. I will try to not nerd out so hard next time.