I was working at the Kinnelon Library reference desk the other day and a woman called and later came in looking for some books her son needed for a paper. I found the one relevant book that Kinnelon had, and helped her pick out three other good books at other libraries. I then called the other two libraries and asked them to hold the books for the woman, who would pick them up later that day. The woman was super appreciative and even went to far as to suggest that I ask for a raise (if only!). She also said that she had called the library on a previous occasion, and whomever she spoke to had been rude to her. She told me that she had debated calling the library again, but was glad that she did.
Times have been tough for libraries and librarians. Jobs are few and far between, and the search process is becoming increasingly frustrating. New Jersey libraries as a whole are losing massive amounts of funding, which has just hit home for me as I’ve watched fellow colleagues get laid off from their jobs at the Montclair PL as a result of budget cuts. It’s a shame that these non-profit, service-oriented organizations have to endure these potentially crippling cuts, considering how much of a help they have been to communities since the onset of the economic downturn.
Despite the doom and gloom that has befallen this profession, it was nice to have a reminder of why I got into librarianship in the first place. I like to help people and make them feel like I care about what they need, which I don’t think you see a lot of in most other settings. Hopefully I will be able to continue in this vein, but time will tell.