The curse (or blessing) of miscommunication

This morning was probably one of the most hectic I've experienced while working in a library. Usually we have three or four reference librarians and assistants to cover the desk, but today two of them called in and one had gone to see President Obama in Osawatamie. That left me, my supervisor and our programming librarian to cover the desk. All would have been fine, if it weren't for the computer class and webinar scheduled for the morning and early afternoon as well! And on top of that, it seemed as if every patron that called or walked up to the reference desk needed in depth research or at least five books or movies that they wanted to track down. Needless to say, I'm kind of pooped.

Our class was on OneClickdigital, the new downloadable audiobook platform available from the State Library of Kansas. There were only four people registered, so I was kind of hoping that half of them wouldn't show up (which is usually the case) so I could cancel the class and go back to helping out at the desk. Thanks to our relatively new email newsletter, Connections, and a listing in the Lawrence Journal World, though, eight unregistered patrons showed up for the class, unaware that they needed to reserve a seat beforehand. And so, not wanting to turn willing and eager learners away, I continued with the lesson as planned--and in retrospect, I'm glad that I did. In the process of trying to explain this new service, I learned a few things myself, and it's always good to see the computer lab near capacity for our classes. Also, the public speaking practice was an benefit too! I've always been fortunate to have patrons who are patient with my tendency to speak too fast, my inability to stay somewhat on track and other public speaking quirks and no-no's of mine.

After the class, I had another hour on the desk and then just 30 minutes to prepare for the Foundation Center webinar, Grant Speaking Basics, that one of my colleagues who called in sick was schedule to host. Fortunately, all I had to do was make sure the computer and projector screen was set up properly and pass out the handouts. By this time, though, I was quite exhausted and I admit a few yawns escaped my mouth--not for a lack of interest, though. Thanks to the hard work of my colleague, the Lawrence Public Library is now a cooperating collection for the Foundation Center, and we can provide lots of useful information for nonprofits and individuals seeking grants.

As hectic as this day may have been, it did make the time go pretty quickly. As much as I love working at the library, some days I, too, appreciate quittin' time. Just thirty more minutes now, and I get to call it a day!

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