Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Hypothetical Musings: Good, obsessed, inappropriate

And the week started out so well ...

Good, actually really good: Monday morning began with the library director's wife stopping by to tell me about a complement paid to the library in general, and me specifically, concerning the "outstanding" job I am doing with the resource center. Next a faculty member, one who recently has taken a job out of state, stopped in to say "hi" and tell me how much she appreciated working with me during her tenure here and enjoyed my "positive and friendly attitude." Shortly afterwards I had an I.T. person call me gorgeous (flirt) and offer to move a printer for me. No, I do not really need help moving a small printer three floors in the library, but the offer was duly appreciated.

High on the very cool meter, and also happening on Monday, was an email from an editor inquiring whether or not I would be interested in writing about my poster ALA poster sessions for their peer-reviewed journal (it's international, no less). I'm under few illusions that like emails went out to other poster presenters, but it was still a highlight of my day. We are exploring the topic and I hope to be able to submit in September.

Oddly Obsessed, but worthwhile: Yesterday I continued to work on updating the resource center student handbook. We have been using a handbook for three years now and even though I periodically update tutorials, procedures, and policy, this is the first year for a major overhaul; it even has a new binder and updated photos. But obsession? One of the pages detailing laminating instructions included a photograph of the laminating bulletin board; it is directly above the machines to facilitate use. Due mostly to resource center lighting, and somewhat from sunshine, many boards need refreshing to get rid of faded construction paper and prints. It's one of the reasons I use white lettering for the boards, but I digress. Before taking anew picture for the manual, I had to take the time to update the board so the picture truly reflected both the update date posted on the form and the new board. That's just sad. However, on the plus side, the board looks great and I hope to finish manual revisions this week.

Definitely inappropriate: That would be reflective on an incident this morning. During summer sessions I refresh the resource center computers once a week to get rid of any residual "stuff" loaded by students. This requires me to login to each computer and activate the software. Complicating the issue, I have a limited number of logins and the computers take an inordinate length of time to load the network. In the midst of refreshing, a student sat down to use a computer I had logged into. Since login makes users personal files available, I politely asked her to not use that computer. She was a bit taken aback, offered a somewhat insincere murmur and said, "I thought since you were just a librarian it would be okay."

Here is the inappropriate part - from me no less. I mentioned I wasn't "just" a librarian but also a faculty member who would never dream of calling her "just" a student. I offered information concerning which computers loaded faster so she could log in more quickly and complete her work in a timely manner. Later I verified her computer was in working order and we parted on friendly terms, though I am relatively certain she went to class and discussed the episode with her peers. Libraries are dependent on customer satisfaction for large parts of their campus reputation, this behavior really is intolerable. I definitely handled the episode incorrectly, opting to smile and move on with the task at hand would have been the higher and professional road to travel.

And naturally, I have been beating myself up about it since then ....

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