Last week I was in the midst of a crazy library research day. Since the second week of January, I've hosted classes in the library every class period, every day and sometimes two classes at a time, finding information for Model Congress, North American Animals, Shakespeare and the Renaissance, Persuasive research papers, plus the regular tasks of checking out books, book talking to individual students, helping students finish previous papers and supervising the wanderers that stroll in. I'm sure I've missed something.
Needless to say, my brain is running in high gear all day long as I help the students with their research--searching, seeking, helping, prodding, cajoling, threatening...pretty much whatever it takes to get them on task and on time!
My cell phone rang, and when I saw that it was my darling daughter who is away at college, I answered it. Sarah is crazy busy this semester, taking 20 hours, doing after-school childcare at the Y as well as taking pictures on weekends.
Guess what. She needed research help. She was having an 'I'm overwhelmed with stuff' meltdown! Sarah was calling me from her college library for help in finding materials for her paper. Can anyone tell me what is wrong with that picture?
Before I could think about where she actually was, I switched into library research interview mode and was quizzing her on her topic, what did she really want to say, where had she already looked. All those questions that I normally ask my students when they are beginning their papers.
Me: Have you looked in the on-line databases?
Sarah: I don't know how to get there.
Me: Have you looked in the online catalog?
Sarah: I don't know how.
Me: Have you done any online research?
Sarah: I haven't had time.
M: (typing crazily on the computer while students line up outside my office door) What is your username and password for your library account?
S: I don't know.
M: Have you asked any of the librarians there for help?
S: Never mind. I'll do all this later. Bye. click.
I didn't take offense because I knew she was feeling overwhelmed. I was a little miffed that she was unable to find a librarian. Where were they? In their office? (helping their own child do homework?) Why did my baby have to call me for help?
Then I remembered 'my' own students waiting somewhat impatiently for my help at that very moment. And I thought of those who spend their time in the library chatting with friends, staring vacantly into space or doodling on their note cards.
Wonder if chatting doodlers who wait till the last minute are telling their parents that no one will help them?
Many stories herein are subject to the faulty, and sometimes creative, memory of the blog owner and should not be taken as factual, although the names and events are real! Kind of.