Reference Training

Before I collapse into bed, I wanted to record one last thing about being trained for the reference desk. I was hesitating about posting this, since it’s probably inappropriate. Now, granted, this is a 2 week process (at least), and I’ve only really had one day of training. So I’m not expert on what this process is all about.

That said, I think it’s all at once completely understandable and completely frustrating that they train us as if we have never been to library school.

Not that I have any problem with the people training me. Everyone is very nice and very understanding, I enjoy my time with them very much. And there are points where they acknowledge that, yes indeed, we have taken the reference class. Also, cataloguing. We are being introduced to some basic cataloguing concepts (LCSH), which is great and all, but yo. Eight months of cataloguing over here. Not that I’m an expert or anything, but you’d think they could rely on our backgrounds a teensy bit. Just a smidgen.

On the other hand, I realize they have to make sure we know a base level of stuff. They know we’ve taken these courses, but they can’t be sure we got the right things out of them, can they. It’s like 505, we had to take the computer class and learn that there these things called “browsers” and “RAM”. Sure, we know that already, but they can’t be certain we know it properly. So they teach it to us anyway. Reference training feels like that so far. Sometimes I feel like the instruction has that sort of “I-know-you-already-know-this” feel to it, but other times it feels shockingly basic and unironic.

Here’s five hours of information you already know better than you ever wanted to! Have you got it all? Are you confused? Still with me?

There were points during the training when I thought that I really didn’t need the program to do this job. They were going to teach it all to me again anyway. Granted, that was during the afternoon when I really needed my nap. I get a bit groggy at about 2pm, so my reflections should probably not be trusted.

I’m enjoying the trek through the print sources, though. We’re getting upclose and personal with every source in that collection. That really will take weeks at the rate we’re going, and that’s okay with me. It’s pretty fun looking at them individually. The woman who’s training us has a degree in history, so we ooh and ahh over the same sources.

My mother told me to stay quiet and I’m not doing that very well. It’s really hard for me. I can’t help it. There’s just always some quip coming out of me and I should probably put a stop to that. There’s a little quip monster living deep down inside me who just has to have her say.

Resolution: blog more, talk less.

Tomorrow we’re going to a briefing for the staff by the infamous University Librarian. I can’t wait! I think we’re being asked along for the experience, since it’s about things that have nothing to do with us. But it’s all about library planning and budgeting, which I’ve gotten a little bit close to through strategic planning, so I’m pretty interested to hear how this goes down. Communication plan indeed; now I get to see it happen.

I’ll keep quiet like a little sponge and keep you posted.