Those who read my previous post know that I attended this fall’s first CLA Montreal Chapter’s “Salon des Bibliothécaire”. This event was both fun and educational and as I learn more about new and interesting possibilities in librarianship, like virtual reference, it reinforced my belief that I’m entering the right career.
There was a large group of librarians from different types of libraries; some had experience doing virtual reference and others were there to learn. We divided up into smaller groups and each group was assigned an “expert” in virtual reference. My expert worked for five years for a company that provided virtual reference internationally. He worked from home and had so many interesting stories to tell us of his experiences. One of his comments was that on virtual reference people tend to have less inhibitions, like teenagers asking questions about sex, or a mistress seeking divorce advice for her boyfriend who refuses to leave his wife. Apparently there is a fine line between being a librarian and being an advice counselor. I learned a lot from these stories on how to address the touchy questions that librarians are bound to encounter whether they are asked through technology or face to face. Obviously these types of questions do not make up the majority of enquiries, but hearing about them adds to the excitement of being a librarian, knowing that each day will be different and to always expect the unexpected.
I am looking forward to the next CLA Montreal Chapter’s “Salon des Bibliothécaires”. Meeting with librarians and hearing about a variety of topics is a fantastic way to keep my motivational level high in my last year of school. These meetings confirm that I’ll soon be surrounded by interesting colleagues and that my work will stimulate me intellectually as it will always keep me on my toes because there will always be new things to learn.