Some days in the library are just bad for all the right reasons, if that is possible.
A borrower needing books about how to cope with the loss of her grand kids being taken away from her and she wants a specific book (following a visit to a neurologist) on how to deal with a dis-associative state that affects her to the extent that she got into a car in Cape Town and couldn't remember the journey or getting out at her destination.
She just blanks out and goes away.
And now now she wanted a book from the library to fix that.
There have been about 7 incidents in my life where I have been fully aware that what book or item I give to someone is going to have a profound impact that would ripple in every aspect of their lives and the people they touch.
Its hellaciously daunting because all you have is your native librarian skills which include looking up titles and recommending vampire books.
The reference interview kind of insulates against becoming too emotional so that you sift through to what the person really needs instead of getting bogged down in the emotionality of the situation/event, but its got nothing against a full-on, in your face, cry for help.
It strips you bare and you try harder-er, and you hope and pray (really hard) that the books that you know will help, are in and you stop feeling like you're responsible for this persons life.
I offered her the books, and we discussed the various aspects of the affliction that she ended up with something to deal with the psychological aspects and also the physical.
She left and I wandered around in a fog of contemplation. (Which looks exactly like a fog of introspection, its just got sparkles around the edges.)
Hope (and the previously mentioned fog) keeps pushing me to wonder if the book I gave her has helped but what is also fermenting in the recesses of my librarian brain is that, I am grateful that she came to me and didn't go to another library.
I also hope that if she did go somewhere else, that librarian would be thinking the exact same thing.
Like I said: *phew*