3/09/2011

Glimpses

We don't see it.
We can't see it.
If we did, we'd be Superman, or even Batman, or God. (which is scary: Batman as a Librarian or God as a Librarian.)

The impact we have on peoples' lives as librarians is something denied to us.
Unless, they come back or you get a glimpse of a fleeting moment that says quite loudly, that  you've touched a life irrevocably.
Like a stone tossed into a still pond, to wear a tired old analogy down to a nub, the ripples continue on, and in this case the person tossing the stone, is blind folded, facing AWAY from the pond, and wondering when the heck they're going to have time to finish their shelving instead of wasting time chucking rocks.
(Librarian  headspace = scary place.)

So, I get glimpses, now and then, because mostly I like to find things out (i.e. nosy), and you can also tell by the little changes in behaviour.
When a job seeker that camped by your public access pc's suddenly stops coming, they're gainfully employed, or dead. But I'm looking at this from the half full perspective.

When large fines suddenly get paid, after months, sometimes years of avoidance, then they're gainfully employed, or selling drugs. Sorry. Half full.

These are just some of the signs, the others aren't signs at all, people just flat out and tell you.

Case in point:
A guy comes asking about a companies history, vision and departmental breakdowns. He doesn't have money, so we float him the cost of the pages, which we cover by paying in the money ourselves (no funny business!), and he leaves happy.
He returns, having scored an interview the next day, and he needs more information.
We give it too him, pay the costs from our pockets and never expect to see him again.

A month later he comes back in, dressed to nines.
And he takes out his books and we ask him, did you get the job?

He smiles, says yes, then leaves.

If you're thinking this a bit anticlimatic then you're obviously not a librarian.

At the end of the day, its OK that they don't come back, because we have to believe that what we're doing makes a difference. Its an act of faith, that requires nothing more than passing someone the Classifieds section or giving them a hand with a C.V.

Thats us. Librarians. 
That's how we roll.

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