Monday Evening Post

So we have finished one session of class and I am looking forward to the rest.  Since we didn’t have any assigned readings for the MLK holiday, this post is mainly just highlighting and expanding on some ideas from class that I thought were interesting.

In general, I found the general class environment to be thoughtful, warm and humorous.  It has the potential to foster an environment where students feel at ease to share their opinions/thoughts/concerns.

I was really impressed by the concept of Drexel University’s personal librarian for every incoming freshman.  It is a such a great idea that I am surprised more universities are not employing.  I think that this would have made such a positive impact on my undergraduate experience.  I was never taught how to research online resources; it was just a matter of trial and error.  There was lots of error.  Had it not been for the help of my advisers recommending resources, I question whether I would have been able to finish my thesis.  The guidance of a trained professional teaching me how to do the research would have been amazing.  In addition, it would have brought light to all the different resources that our library had.  I remember my final semester at university when I discovered our library had LPs that you could listen to in private booths and wishing I had known about that a lot sooner.

Another aspect of lecture that I was intrigued by was the brief Melville Dewey tidbits.  Such an influential guy whose name gets tossed around as an aspect of tedious librarianship has a vast impact on the underlying impact of the library.  I feel very inspired by the idea of libraries fulfilling a democratic mission in the community; this idea is what drew me back to the United States to get my degree in LIS.  It is so powerful, but I think that it is taken for granted by the general public.  From my observations and conversations with people outside the LIS world, the library is just another institution that has been around forever.  Rarely do people outside LIS lose sleep over the future of the library, but I hate to think of what that day will look like.  I mean this is a place that gives you free access to materials and information FOR FREE.   That is an awesome concept that I am willing to work my life to protect.  Now if we can just get the library open during bar hours.

To end I want to share a short story my husband experienced this week at our library.  So, The other day he was in line at the local branch of our district library.  The person in front of him was trying to open a new account.  All her paperwork was ready but the person at circulation was having some issues.  The computer was saying that she already had an account from a few years ago.  The old account had over 40 books checked out.  The patron stated plainly that yes this was her account, but it was old and she didn’t use it anymore.  She wanted a new one.  The person at circulation explained that they couldn’t give her a new account because of all the fines.   To which she replied that she returned the books albeit a few years late, but that they should be on the shelf.  So, the fines are on them (the library).  After much discussion the woman walked away with two pages of missing titles to look for at home, while the library was to check the shelves for the titles.  I am not sure how this ties in with anything that I have talked about, but I do know that the people who work at the library are capable of good work and that makes me excited to work there.


About mainvils

I am a first year UMSI graduate student specializing in LIS and Preservation of Information.
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One Response to Monday Evening Post

  1. foresterkma says:

    I think it is interesting how people in America really feel like the library has been as old as time, along with the whole idea that anyone can use the library. (I personally find library history to be fascinating.) To your point though, that there is all of this FREE access and FREE books etc… at the same time it totally isn’t free. It costs to buy books from vendors, it costs to keep up the building, it costs for this and that. What I’m saying is the library has a lot of hidden costs that users usually don’t realize or think too much about. I’m not saying that we should tell users “This costs so much money and this costs so much money”. I think what we just need to do is keep giving really great service out to people, so they want to come back, use the library and encourage their friends to. I think your story demonstrates this. Instead of turning down the lady completely, the librarian worked with her and came to an agreement. Librarians rock.

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