Friday, December 30, 2005

The Rewards of Librarianship

I could never be a doctor. Despite my apparent fascination with bodily functions, I really don't like them very much, and do not at all want to be involved of the bodily functions of anyone outside my very immediate family. However, I do like the idea of helping people. So I became a librarian.

In fact, as an aside, there was a rather funny moment just before we boarded our cruise ship back in November. As you know, we were traveling with two of my friends from college, who happen to be married, and who also happen to both be doctors. Now Chris and I have sailed with Disney before, but this couple had not. So when we got to the Port, we were ushered to a special line for repeat cruisers, and they had to stand in the long line with all the rest of the plebes. I waved to them as we were being checked in WAY ahead of them (okay... only maybe by about 8 people), and said gleefully, "YOU may save lives, but WE have sailed before... who gets the better deal HERE?!"

Anyway, today, I completed my most difficult reference transaction to date. (This does not count the horribly rude and grumpy lawyers I used to have to grovel in the presence of when I worked for Dialog. Their questions weren't hard, anyway... they were just difficult people). And the best part is, I didn't do it alone. I collaborated with a complete stranger in Allen County, Indiana. Basically, a guy called me yesterday and he wanted a book on repairing golf carts. Oddly, I found we had NOTHING on the subject. So after concluding from Internet searches that the only way to obtain one from the manufacturer was to whip out the plastic, I turned to libraries outside of my system.

I searched WorldCat and found what I thought might be the particular manual the man wanted (although the model numbers were not quite matching up). I also learned that there is only ONE library in the WORLD that has any of this company's manuals. I don't know if someone in Allen County died and left his whole Golf Cart Repair Manual collection to the library, or what. But they have them, and they are catalogued for the whole world to see.

I spoke with the NICEST librarian in the world, and she graciously pulled several of these manuals for me, presumably out of storage. Because the model numbers were not really matching what our patron said he had, she scoured the books for a 9-pin connector or something, which was the major characteristic of the engine he seemed to be having problems with. (Not only am I not technical or electrically inclined, but I'm also suffering pregnancy brain, so I can't believe I was able to effectively even communicate with this very smart and capable librarian about connector pins).

Anyway, short story long, the gentleman came into the library, got his library card (he had never had one in his life) and compared a wiring diagram she faxed to us with his own notes about the cart he was repairing. Lo and behold, she had sent exactly what he needed and he left completely thrilled with how his property tax dollars were being spent. Let's hope he writes to the newspaper to tell them about it. In the meantime, I'm having a chocolate chip cookie (or six) to reward myself for a job well done. I suppose I should send a cookie to Allen County too, eh?

1 comment:

A Girl From Texas said...

Bravo! Have another cookie on me. he he