Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Reference Desk Man

I love the library. The library in my area has a great kids section. Besides the books it has games, toys, computers, and a wall hole that the kids can crawl through and hide in. It is a lot of fun for the kids and gives me time to look for the books I need.

I am new to the library, I just started to frequent our local library this year since we started homeschooling.

I don’t know if it is just me or maybe others have experienced this. I think part of the qualifications for the person who works the reference desk is they must move and talk at a very slow pace. Since I am new to our library I find myself needing to ask questions, so I go to the reference desk. It does not matter who is working that day all of them move and talk at the same pace, very slowly.

Today I had all the kids with me at the library. I had a list of books I wanted to get for the older kids. I searched for them on the computer, I searched the shelves and I could not find any on my list. I knew I would have to go to the reference desk to ask about one book that was supposed to be there.

By this time my oldest son is in a time out. My littlest one has one shoe on and clutching one of the stuff animals, screaming as his older sister tries to take it away. The last thing I wanted to do was approach the reference desk. But it is a book I need for school so I went ahead and asked about the book.

The person looked up very slowly from the computer, I asked my question and he very slowly told me he would teach me how to use the computer to hold books. (I already know how to do this). He slowly walked over to the computer, and then proceeded to let my daughter do all the typing. I am looking at him and then looking at my two screaming toddlers. His face never changed, he just went on with the demonstration.

Then he decided to call another library for me, all this at the pace of a turtle. Now my oldest son is crying, my youngest one has no shoe or sock on, and bug is sweating to death screaming for me to take off her jacket.

The reference guy makes the call and tells me I will have my book soon. I thank him and he looks at me and with a slow sweet smile and says, have a wonderful day. He says the same to each one of my unruly children.

He was so sweet and nice. Ignoring how my kids were behaving and genuinely happy to help. He moved slow as all reference desk people do, but I think that means patience, patience with people who don’t know the library well, patience with mom’s who are always moving way to fast.

Thank you for your patience slow moving reference desk man. Thank you for not rolling your eyes at my children or me. You were a very big help.

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