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Two inspiring reads


During vacation I read two books that truly inspired me as we go into 2013. Two must-reads are: If You Want to Write: A Book about Art, Independence and Spirit, by Brenda Ueland, and Twyla Tharp's The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life. I have been staring at the blank pages for my thesis for about two years now. Ueland inspired me to pick up the pen again. Note: a pen, as many inventors stress the importance of kinesthetic learning and experience. Sometimes when you are stuck, you just need to doodle. She writes that we all are talented, worthy and have something to say. Her encouraging words to find my true voice were inspiring, especially since it was written in 1938! I then read Tharp's book. Her creative exercises are invigorating, though the egg movement exercise might be a bit too much for me. Creativity can be recognized, cultivated, and encouraged. I personally loved her box approach for developing a piece. She puts every scrap of inspiration, research, and idea into a box; she stresses that memory fails, and that we need objects and ideas collected, and label the box with a few key words/her motto.

These two books found me at just the right time in my life.

I was struck by the similarities between physicians and library staff while listening to Dr. Lisa Sanders, who writes the Diagnosis column for the New York Times Magazine and is an analyst for the television show House, on NPR the other night.

Dr. Sanders stated that in two surveys physicians let their patients tell their stories for only 20 second or even interrupting after 3 seconds with a question. Sanders stated that on average a patient takes 2 minutes to tell their story, so all they need to wait is 2 minutes. Dr. Sanders told some startling tales of physicians who weren't allowed to share their whole story, and because of this it took much longer for the physician to come to a diagnosis. She also commented on how patients won't complete their story if interrupted!

This really reminded me of the reference interview. If we jump in as soon as the patron asks a question, or guess at what they are looking for, or don't ask the probing questions during the reference interview- the interaction can do south and in the end not help the patron at all, or even worse, maybe hurt them if we cross the health/legal information boundary to advice.

I am amazed how almost everyday I see the reference interview in different situations, and often when I have the best customer service those staff were following the reference interview steps.

Ah Ha Moment


During an instruction session after going over the importance of thing of multiple keywords/phrases/synonyms for various components for a topic a student said, “I get it- it’s like scategories.” Those light bulb moments reinforce the message and I could see a ripple of light bulbs going on in the room.