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Volunteering at the library

PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 12:30 pm
by velvet
Hi all,
long time no see!
One of the things keeping me busy is volunteering at the local public library each week.
I am a "tech helper" - I assist library patrons who are using the library computers. If they have a question about how to use the library, or find a website, or how to print a document at the library, I'm the person they ask.
I have been working each week since September 2009. Since I am now in a Master's in Library and Information Science program, which I started in January 2010, this has given me an up close and personal chance to really view what working in a library is like. (I often recommend this to others considering a career in a certain field - volunteer in that field to get a chance to try it out and see if it is a good field for you).
I absolutely love this work!
I look forward to it each week, just for the sheer joy of being helpful and assisting people.

It has had surprising benefits - perhaps the most helpful thing for me is that doing online schoolwork is so isolating, and often frustrating, as it requires lots of computer skills. When I go to help out at the library, I can so appreciate the frustration that computer error messages evoke! And my calm way of troubleshooting when I help someone else also translates to my troubleshooting through my own challenges.
I've made friends with some of the regulars, who often have some mental challenges, but I've enjoyed seeing them grow to trust me and to let me help them calm down.
And I get thanked every time. Occasionally there's a difficult person, but the library is awesome - I dont have to deal with anything difficult, so if someone's being obnoxious, I'm free to walk off, go find a magazine, or whatever, until the problem is solved by someone else.

I am just so very grateful for this work. And I absolutely love it.
Sure, it will look great on my resume once I get my Master's degree, and sometimes it helps me get some library homework done, but I do it entirely because it is fun and rewarding.