I remember the first time a librarian freaked me out.
I grew up in the Midwest where it is unbearably hot and muggy in the summer and inside the house is no better than outside. So I went to the public library to escape the heat.
It was cool, there were comfortable chairs and so much to read. The summer I graduated from the kids’ section, I walked upstairs and a smiling librarian looked at me and asked if she could help me find anything.
I was startled and scared. Not lying. She was a nice lady, and I was scared. And now – get this – I’m that nice lady.
Do I scare you? Let me try to put you at ease. I live to help you with stuff. Really. And they pay me to do it.
Like, what the heck are you going to do that 6-page research paper on? I can help you figure that out.
You found so much information that it’s just overwhelming? I’ll work with you to sort it out.
Or worse yet, you can’t find any information at all? I love a challenge, so bring it on.
Why did your teacher say you can’t use the Web? Well, it isn’t quite as simple as that. I can help you find good sources online that will make your instructor proud. Plus a whole treasure trove more in our databases. Let me show you.
Primary sources? Yeppers. And citations are hard. I remember. I went to college, too. I can help you with that.
We all can. I’m Tara and there’s Sarah, Sarah (no relation), Liz and Mariko. Some of the scariest librarians you’ll ever meet (you know I’m joking, right?).
And that’s just for starters. Faye, Christy, Jill and all the student workers – they’ll get you a study room and check out the textbook your teacher put on reserve. They’ll go with you to find a book by that stupid call number thingy and give you the scoop on how to print on campus.
They’ll let you know when that DVD from another library arrives for you and loan you a laptop (to use in the library). They can help you set your margins, upload to Laulima and show you how to use the scanner or fax machine. They’ll even lend you a bit of encouragement.
We all want to help. If we don’t know the answer, we’ll make something up – er – I mean, try to find out. Or introduce you to someone who can.
Come on in. It’s cool, we have comfortable chairs and lots to read.
by Tara Severns, Special to Ka ‘Ohana