Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Most Basic Element

I'm taking an online class to prepare me to help students with reference questions in the library where I work. Several years ago I helped people find information in the public library. Things have changed. An increase in online databases, e-books, and search engines has updated the face of gathering information. But, even as the techniques get more sophisticated, the most basic element of helping someone hasn't changed.

Our second online chat addressed---wait for it---being friendly so people will come back. That's one of the most important elements to good reference work.

I have to admit, I was a bit surprised to have an instructor teach me to be approachable, kind, and patient. Whether I needed it or not, it's a good reminder of how to treat people, no matter what I'm doing. 

When have you encountered an especially helpful person in public service?

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