You’ve seen them wandering around the computer lab, stepping into the silent study room, and walking down the aisles between the bookshelves. Who are they? They’re the Librarian Brigade!
(Okay, maybe that’s not really what we’re called but wouldn’t that be a good name for a gang of librarian superheroes?!?)
We actually call this service Roving Reference. The idea behind it is
to make sure that we are providing the best possible service to
everyone in the library. We also want to make sure that the library is a
comfortable and inviting place where you can get work done.
Why do we rove? Well, without getting too librarian nerdy on you,
I’ll give a couple of reasons. First, we want to remove any barriers
between us and any library users. Some library users are a little
reluctant to ask for help (not you, of course, since
you’re reading our fantastic library blog!). They think they may be
interrupting us or bothering us, or they may just feel a little shy
about asking someone a question. It can be a little intimidating to go
up to a stranger and ask them questions about things you feel like you
should know how to do. By leaving the desk and going to where the users
are, we meet them in their space and remove some of that intimidation
Another reason for roving is to help make sure that the library
remains a great place to study and get work done. We have different
noise level zones in the building, so when we rove, we make sure that
the silent study room is actually silent and that any groups in the
yellow zone on the second floor aren’t getting too excited about what
they’re studying and disturbing others. Plus, if we find that a group of
people is being a little noisier than they should be, we can direct
them to a study room or give them a “gentle reminder” to be respectful
A third reason for roving is to help anyone lost in the bookshelves.
Sometimes it’s easy to get lost on the way to finding a resource,
especially if you’re not familiar with the way items are shelved here at
Thigpen. If a roving librarian sees someone who looks like he needs a
little help, then we can step in and help her find what he’s looking
Finally, it also gives the librarians a little exercise, which never
hurts anyone who sits at a computer for a good part of the workday!
So, the next time you see a librarian wandering around, you will know
what she is doing. And, if you ever think of a better name for our
librarian superhero gang, leave us a comment here!
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