Thursday, September 6, 2007

New Librarian Mistakes

At the Reference Desk today I feel like I made a few mistakes that affected my confidence. One of the mistakes was that I did not smile as much as I should have, but the mistakes made it more difficult to smile. One of the patrons asked for help in sending an article they found in Google Scholar to their email account. They kept saying that it would not let them do this. I suggested that they copy and paste the URL and send that to themselves in their email account. She did not seem pleased. Later on I figured that she could probably save the page to the computer's desktop and send it as an attachment to herself, although I tried this out myself at one of the Reference computers, and it did not work. Frustrating! I still wanted to suggest this to the patron, but I perceived/imagined she was not pleased with my help, so I hesitated too long and she left. She was talking with her colleagues [they seemed to be a part of the same class], so I didn't want to interrupt at that point. What can I do better in the future? Hopefully, I can learn from my mistakes and better help others in the future.

Another student needed an MLA handbook for writing theses and dissertations. I looked in the catalog, but I could only find the one that is for undergraduates. I did walk with her to find the MLA Handbooks in the stacks, partly in hopes that we could find the graduate MLA handbook. She came back after a few minutes, and by then I had looked on the shelves behind the Reference Desk to find the most recent edition of the MLA Handbook, so I handed her that one. She said she would take it up to the second floor.

My colleague at the desk had been helping someone else at the same time, otherwise I would have asked for her input. Once she had a free moment I asked her about this, because I knew that another MLA book existed specifically for graduate students and that it was a hard-bound version. Of course, my experienced colleague knew that this hard-bound book existed also, and she knew it was not shelved next to the MLA Handbook. Now I know it is the MLA Style Manual shelved with the PNs, whereas the MLA Handbook can be found with the LBs.

The most embarrassing thing is that I have used the MLA Style Manual before [at least I should have used it frequently when writing my MA thesis].

On the bright side I answered a few questions correctly, but these seemed to be more on the directional questions side of things. Any suggestions, comments, and encouragements would be welcome.

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