Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Librarians Make Good Secretaries

I never knew that my reader's advisory skills would serve me so well as a secretary.  If there is one common theme between being a librarian and being a secretary, it's the expectation that you should know everything.  What book won the Newbery in 1972?  Can an undergrad take a course for grad credit?  I saw a book once with a blue cover about a witch-do you have it?  My voicemail's not working-why and fix it.

That type of thing.

Also, when you're the secretary primarily reporting to one person, the department chair, you can sometimes develop a particularly vague type of code language and this is when the reader's advisory skills come in.

Take yesterday.  My chair asks me if I have any copies of the pink chart.  I give him a completely blank stare.  He adds, you printed it on pink paper, or maybe purple paper, with the ACT scores.  Bingo!  You mean the scholarship qualification chart, which I have never, in fact, printed on pink paper, nor does it have anything pink on it, but yes, it does have ACT scores.

See, if I'd never been a librarian, I would have searched for the elusive "pink chart" for days to no avail, but because I understand how readers, or supervisors, can get hung up on random details that can actually make your job harder, I was able to read between the lines and come up with the right answer.  Plus, since you can pull out your Nancy Drew skills and pull answers out of thin air, you look like a genius.  And aren't we all--librarians and secretaries I mean.  The rest of you would be lost without us!

Now for the answers to the questions in the intro of this post:  The 1972 Newbery Winner was Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert O'Brien, a great book with some action, talking rats, and humor.  Yes, undergrads can take a course for grad credit as long as they are seniors who have applied for graduation and have applied to graduate school and there's another form to fill out and yes, I will email you the form, and sure, I can run it to the grad office for you, and okay, I'll pick up some coffee for you too (this really does feel like my day sometimes).  A book with a blue cover about a witch-try Well Witched by Frances Hardinge or Weather Witch by Shannon Delaney, although I would recommend the former as it has more action and less romance, and is a stand alone book.  Finally, you're voicemail isn't working because a server went down over two months ago resetting all of our voicemails, and I've told you twice to set-up your voicemail again, but you don't follow directions, but sure, I'll email you the instructions again.

It's a never-ending job!

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