If you happen to see the librarian at the reference desk during a quiet moment, please do not
approach her and bellow "Well! YOUR job certainly seems easy!"
The librarian realizes that you're probably kidding around. But every time you accuse her of having an easy job, she feels like what she does all day holds little value.
And what you don't know is that not five minutes before, the librarian had been dealing with something.
That "something" could have been any number of things. She might have:
- helped a patron look up homeless shelters for the winter
- quieted a screaming child by holding an impromptu picture book reading session
- talked to a teenage girl about her school/home/boyfriend troubles
- assisted someone with filling out an application for unemployment benefits
- assisted someone with filling out an application for disability benefits
- assisted someone with faxing a form so that he won't get evicted from his apartment
- gone upstairs and then downstairs and then upstairs again to find that ONE PERFECT BOOK for a kid who needs it
- had a run in with that old, creepy "Ref Desk Romeo" who won't leave her alone
Etc. Etc. Etc. Infinity etc.
So, yes, in that rare quiet moment, the job may look easy. But it's really not easy. And it's not supposed to be easy. The librarian knows this, and she loves it anyway. But sometimes, when she's TOLD that it's easy, she wants to put her head down on the reference desk and weep.
This is easily preventable. Just go up to the desk, smile, say hello, talk about the weather or the ball game or did you see that on TV last night my goodness and then politely ask your question. The librarian will be happy to help you.
This is the librarian's plea. She thanks you.