Sunday, October 9, 2011

Positive News I

We all seem to complain too much. It is just more fun to complain than to tell a story of someone who is happy when we just do our normal everyday job. Two weeks ago a librarian on the LM_net listserv suggested that every Friday we share some good news. The next Monday the college vice-president’s office asked us to share any good news. I had an “aha” moment. I should stop kvetching and show something from the library in a positive light.

On Tuesday September 27 a reader wanted the book, The Warmth of the Other Suns. I helped her find the book in the catalog and sent her to the stacks to find the book. The book was not on the shelf and so she asked for help. I couldn’t find the book either. Since it was a recent book I checked the new book shelf and it wasn’t there. I told her that when we found if I would put it aside. She went away before I could get her name. Five minutes after she left I found the book. I told the other staff to give her the book if she returned. She didn’t return for a week. When I gave her the book she was so happy. She told us the reason she felt connected to the story because her family had a similar story. I took her picture but she was too modest to show her face.

On the same day while walking through the stacks I found another woman sitting and reading a book on the floor in what I thought was an uncomfortable position. I told her that we have lots of comfortable chairs to sit in. She asked, “Can I check out these books?” I said. "Of course, just take them to the circulation desk and present your school ID. She was so happy that I took her picture, too. She was too modest to show her face.

I prepared a display of the pictures of these happy readers.

On another day a reader asked for some books on mental illness. After trying to find out more about his quest all I could do was a keyword search on “mental illness.” One of the first books on the list that I thought would help him was, Nursing diagnoses in psychiatric nursing. He asked honestly without any sarcasm, “What’s nursing?” I explained “nursing.” I tried another approach when he said that he wanted to know why and how people become mentally ill. I gave him a couple of medical books including, The Harvard guide to psychiatry. When he asked “What’s a Harvard?” I almost lost it. I pointed him to the area where the books were shelved and he didn’t return. I think he was trying for a self diagnosis. Can any college student be that clueless?

Next week I’ll look for some more satisfied readers.


Daniel D. Stuhlman said...

I apologize for the typos in the first version. I must have pasted a previous version and I missed fixing the errors. Usually I write the column and then sleep on it before posting the final version.

Redhead said...

Perhaps English isn't his first language?

Daniel D. Stuhlman said...

--> Redhead The student had a Chicago accent.