#17 – Unexpected Inclusivity

One day at my previous workplace, I led a relatively big group (about 15 people) into our historic reading rooms, and did the talk and tour as per usual.

Three women wandered off into the little room adjacent to the main rooms. They were elated when they found that all of the books in the room were about Islamic studies. There were mix of up to date books and historically relevant ones there. Most prominently displayed is the open-facing Quran on the wooden bench on a book holder underneath the bay window.

All three were excited and amazed and started talking in (excited but hushed) Arabic. It made me very happy to show the room to them, which held more importance in that moment than the other, usually more impressive, reading rooms.

Submitted by Deborah, Independent Library


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#15 – Smallest Moments

Today I correctly spotted two different patrons (one another member of staff, one a student) having difficulties with our printer and was able to solve both issues in under a minute.

Both were very mundane issues, but I made two people’s days a little bit easier (with mock exam week stressing out students and staff) so I can’t help but be happy with my day at work.

Submitted by Deborah, Further Education Library

#14 – Microfilm Mystery

There have been plenty of little moments which remind me why I got into, and why I stay, in the library profession. My favourite was while working as a Library Assistant in a university library.

I worked on the customer service desk, dealing with students with the normal sort of queries – where are the loos, can you connect me to the wi-fi, I need this book but I can’t remember the title, etc…

But on this day, an interesting query came in… A man came in looking for a letter concerning land ownership in the 17th century, so not your standard enquiry.

I managed to hunt this letter down, it was held on one roll of microfilm, in a box of 20 microfilm rolls. Then came attempting to use the Microfilm Machine, which was becoming obsolete before I was born. We conquered the baffling machine!

Long story short, we managed to find this letter which was a key source for the man’s research, and he was so pleased that I received a bottle of wine the next day!

Submitted by Ellie Downes, Higher Education library

#13 – Research joy

There is nothing quite like seeing the eyes of a researcher light up at their first sight of a crucial source for their work.

Bringing special collections items to the reading room was a common task for library assistants where I worked and it was easy to forget just how special some of the materials are.

One day, though, a request with a difference came through. I knew something was up as soon as a colleague on the retrieval rota asked for the help of not one but two willing assistants to bring something up from the rare books room. Once I got down there, I could see why. The requested ‘large folio’ was indeed very large, and would only just fit on the trolley and through the doors.

This weighty 19th-century tome documented archaeological finds from an ancient site. The researcher had sought it out because it contained a possibly unique reference to a complete set of inscriptions from this particular site. Where previous scholars had interpreted an incomplete set, this researcher would be able to study all of them. You could see from his happy face just how much it meant to him to be able to see such a vital source at first hand.

Academic/research sector, Oxford

#12 – Clinical Librarians

Here at Sheffield Children’s Hospital we run a Clinical Librarian service.

We attend ward rounds and clinical governance meetings. We support our clinicians and management in many ways but much of what we do is searching the healthcare databases for the best evidence.

It is very rewarding to get feedback that we have found information that has helped in providing the best possible care for a child.

Submitted by Gill Kaye, Health Sector, Sheffield

#11 – Printer

I’m currently studying my MA full time, but one of my standout moments in my school library graduate traineeship was helping out a trainee teacher. He had to give a presentation for his university course, and was struggling to get the PowerPoint handout to look right. I showed him how to change the settings to allow for more than one slide per page, and helped him print it (on a very temperamental printer!).

It seemed like such a small thing to me at the time, but he came and found me the next day to tell me how his presentation had gone, and to thank me for helping him out. It turned he’d been really worried about getting everything together in time, so he was grateful that I’d helped him sort it quickly. Whenever I bumped into him in the corridor after that, he’d always call me his lifesaver!

It was a great feeling, knowing that my small action had meant so much to him, and it made me realise how much good librarians could do, just by being there at the right time to help someone in need.

Submitted by Elle, London, School library

#10 – Generations of Readers

As a young child I had always loved books, and learnt to read early. I was always reading, the back of the cereal packet, the side of a bus, anything.

When I went to Secondary School I found my favourite place in the world – the school library. We had a brilliant librarian who introduced me to so many new authors as well as all the classics – I read every Dickens the school owned, plus lots of science fiction, action books and detective novels. I spent most of my morning and lunch breaks reading, and spending time with other keen readers.

Today I have two beautiful daughters (a fab husband too). We all read extensively, and have passed on the love of books and reading to our girls. We have a house full of books.

I want to just add here a heartfelt thank you to my school librarian, and say hi to my daughter who is doing an MA in Librarianship at Sheffield.

Submitted by Heather

#9 – Support Your Library

I am at a small, country library that was co-located with a small school.

The school closed earlier this year and the fate of the library is uncertain over the next few years. The community is rallying around using our services in an effort to stave off closure.

My favourite comment from a patron has been that he hopes to win the lottery, buy the building, and keep me on because his kids who used to be non-readers love to come to the library and love to read!

Best endorsement for the love of reading!

Submitted by Anonymous