I spent a lot of time at the circulation desk in the children’s department during my internship, and one of my goals for the semester was to be comfortable helping at a public library desk. I have worked at a special collections library for some time, but I have not had much experience serving library patrons in a non-academic setting. Also, I still have a lot to learn about youth services, and I was nervous that I would be stuck when it comes to reference questions.
I learned how to answer basic reference questions, such as pointing patrons in the right direction to find books, and I learned how to check out items and place holds for people. But, I would often get questions that I did not know how to answer, and I had to go to a full-time staff member to help. This taught me that public librarians work as a team; everyone supports you and helps you solve problems. Additionally, it was a good lesson for me because I realized that I cannot always have the answers and it is okay to not know. I will have colleagues who will give me ideas and answers, and I have to remember that I should do the same for them. I came away from the hours at the reference desk knowing that I should always be asking questions and learning from others.