I thought that working at the University Library at IUPUI was going to be difficult for me for a few reasons:
- I do not consider myself to be an avid reader and my assumption was that I was going to be asked how many books I read per week in my interview (I was not = whew). At the time, I was not making time to read much.
- I am loud and my laugh carries – not conducive for a quiet library setting. – I come from a large Italian/Polish/Irish family where everyone talks over everyone but you always know what each topic of conversation is – it’s a gift.
- What do I know about books, research and anything else that the library has? Yikes this is going to be so hard and I am going to fail anyone who I try to help!
Like most things, my assumptions were wrong. My job at the University Library has not only put me in touch with some great faculty and staff, but also how to do better research for our patrons and myself. I never thought I would be working with such a diverse population — from the freshman trying to understand how the catalog works to the tenured faculty member learning about new features on a database. It’s a good feeling to see the ‘a-ha’ moment across the desk when you help the person who might be struggling finally understand it. I can say that I am proud to be part of the Access Services team.
This is also true for Alegre Eskaloni, the head librarian for the Paros Public Library. She didn’t know that after college she would be in charge of a public library in Greece. Unlike myself, Alegre has a lot more experience in librarianship and she enjoys being in charge of the public library here in Paros. In fact, she jokingly told me, it’s ‘me, myself and I’ along with some dedicated volunteers who help keep the library afloat. The amount of pride and excitement that Alegre showed about her library work was addicting. From the reply to my email to the final embrace (a Greek hug and a kiss on each cheek) she showed us before we left, Alegre is the epitome of what a true librarian should be. My biggest takeaway from my time with her was to always continue to challenge yourself – if you find yourself getting too comfortable, make a change. Alegre, being the point person for all-things Paros Public Library, loves the challenge that each day brings. Not only is she proud of how far the library has come, but she also realizes where it can go. Alegre wants to continue to build up their collection and provide excellent customer service for the visitors of the Paros Public Library. Even though I am not a library science student, I know that I can take what I learned from Alegre and use them in my position at the University Library.
Written by Diann S. Lindsay