One of our students stopped me in Target the other week. “You’re my librarian,” he exclaimed. I was thrilled by the identification, especially the “my.” It seems to me that if librarians and library workers do their jobs, that’s exactly how students should feel: that we are there for them. We are theirs.
I just had to interrupt this post. We have a student who finished everything for his presentation except to put it in sheet protectors and have some sort of label on each page. He didn’t know the bookstore had already closed, so he came to the people he sees every night: us. We found him what he needed, and as I write this, one of my colleagues is helping him stick the labels on so that he can make to class on time for the presentation.
I’m sure some people might say we’re spoonfeeding. But I’m more than happy to live with that label. We’ve all messed up in big and little ways. And we bless the people who don’t spend time telling us what we’ve done wrong, but instead help us do what needs to be done.
If I’m asked what I want to be said about my time as dean of the library, it would be this: Students knew that they could come to the library, and the staff there would do their best to help them.