Tuesday, May 14, 2013

National Library Week: Like Shark Week, but with Cardigans

NLW was 4/15/13-4/21/13 this year.  I usually don’t pay too much attention to it, but when I worked at the Oconee County Public Library we liked to make a big deal of it.  We created displays, scheduled programs at each library location, and sometimes even had “Fine Free Week” if overdue books were returned.

I’ve been the main Instruction Librarian at TCTC for almost 6 years, so most students have attended a workshop in which I guided them through the process of using an academic library.  Part of the English 101 workshop explains the differences between academic journals and magazines.  I use a journal article called “library anxiety among students” as an example of research results published in academic journals.  When I talk about “library anxiety”, many students giggle self-consciously, then furtively glance around to see if others in the room also just realized that they suffer from a touch of it themselves.

The quote, National Library Week:  Like Shark Week, but with cardigans, is from a listserv of community college librarians.  While it was posted in jest, it makes me wonder why the general population continues to see librarians as (at best) uptight shushers and (at worst) sharks in sweaters.  Here at the TCTC library all of us strive to be friendly, approachable, and helpful to students, so rest assured that we are here to assist you with whatever you need.  I’ve answered plenty of reference questions, but I’ve also given people directions to hotels, helped them register for next semester’s classes, given out BandAids, and on one occasion found enough safety pins for a student to fix the zipper in her pants.  Obviously, a shark in a sweater would not do that!

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