The only experiences I can recall at the moment about my treatment when in a library setting are the ones I have had over the last four years as a University student. I have never been one to ask for assistance and have always liked finding the answers to my questions by searching for them myself but when I did have questions, I would go to the front desk. The men and women working there usually did smile (even if I greeted them grimly and sleep-deprived with a coffee cup in my hand) but most of them couldn’t do much more than I could have done by searching the collection via the library website myself. In the chapter we were assigned to read, it states that the Agile Librarian should help quicken the pace of the search. But these individuals working at the front desk often hindered my ability to find specific topics and confused me so much that I would have to go back to my corner of the stacks to regroup.
I believe simply that they may have needed to learn more technique about narrowing down a search by inquiring more about the topic and engaging in a dialogue with the client; maybe they have not taken the Library and Information Science program (I know one girl that works there and she is in University taking Environmental Sciences). But, to my growing frustration, these more inexperienced employees were the ones that were expected to interact with the public and answer all of their questions because the head librarian was no where to be found.
Over four years, I did not once see the head librarian. They had an office in the labyrinth that was the top floor of the building; he or she hid like a minotaur in the depths of the maze of stacks where the students cannot get in contact them. My friend who works at the front desk also said that she had never met the head librarian either. Maybe I do not know enough about the inner workings of a library yet to understand the duties of each employee of a library, especially such a large academic library like the one at my last University, but a librarian that hides in their office seems futile.
So, consequently, my experience with the Agile Librarian has been merely mythical and this is one of the reasons why I am taking this program. I want to become the Agile Librarian who answers everyone’s inquiries with polite and genuine answers rather than a tangled web of labyrinths and minotaurs.