Oh look, I caught the blogging bug! However did that happen? I blame Library Camp personally and judging by the poorly tweets of other attendees, it wasn’t the only bug going around.
I’m not going to do a Library Camp post as lots of other witty and erudite bloggers have already done it justice, but it was the enthusiasm and interest of all the attendees that encouraged me to take the leap into the world of blogging myself.*
My aim for this blog is to provide a space to discuss the challenges that face Librarians daily; managing an environment full of hundreds of young men and women who have come to University to learn not just about their chosen subject, but about life in general as well. It seems to me that today’s undergraduates are increasingly sheltered and often seem to have been spoon fed through their A Levels. The complexity of a large university is often overwhelming for them, as is the environment of an academic library. Alongside this is the creeping commodification of Higher Education. The combined result seems to be a student who is often unable or unwilling to figure out a problem for themselves, whether that is printing or re-enrolment, but also expects help to be available and immediate due to the amount of fees they are paying. In some circumstances that expectation is not necessarily unreasonable, after all, they are the reason our jobs exist. But when they start emailing the Library at 2am demanding that someone renew their books for them instantly, or refuse to return a reserved item because they need it more than anyone else in the world could ever, we move into a more difficult area.
I know I’m not the only librarian with stories of demanding, unreasonable, unruly and downright threatening students and I will be sharing these** and encouraging you to share yours with me too. But although there will certainly be rants on this blog (in fact, I’m thinking about making it a regular feature) I’d also like to talk about solutions; things we can do and change to better engage with our users, to teach them how to approach a problem in order to solve it themselves.
And also to teach them what the phrase “quiet study” actually means…
So if that sounds interesting to you, please add me to your rss reader and I’ll do my best to bring you regular and interesting content! And in case you’re wondering, my next post will be about why I hate being called Miss…
(*I’ll be sure to add their blogs to my blogroll when I can figure out how the damn thing works…)
(**with all names changed and identities obscured, obviously, I don’t actually want to get sacked!)