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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Two of my favourite Year 7s are so pure I want them to stay that way forever ❤ They were very excited to tell me about their plan for the weekend which is to go into town to visit the library and read some Harry Potter and look for more books! — “followed by McDonalds, obviously.”
Submitted by Emily, Secondary School Library
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
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
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