I am not the man in the picture. Jamie LaRue is out of town and offered me his column space this week. I accepted happily seeing it as an opportunity to share an insider's glimpse into the library world.
Sometimes, you come to the library with a question.
It isn't always clear, though. Sometimes, where the question starts isn't where it ends. For instance, you might begin by asking, "Do you have anything on the Civil War?"
We say, "Yes! Heaps! Can you tell me a little more about what you're looking for? Are you trying to find out how it started? Are you curious about some of the key military leaders?"
About a year ago, we decided to do something about our "long overdues." These are the items that our patrons have checked out, but never brought back, despite the three notices we sent them.
Our schedule works like this: we send the first notice (which may be a phone call or e-mail) when the item is one week late; the second when it is two weeks late; and the third is when the item is a month past due.
My daughter, Maddy, amazes me with her time management skills. When she has an assignment - preparing for a quiz, for example - she estimates how much time she'll need to master the content. She'll divide up the time by the number of days remaining until the quiz, and use that time promptly after school each day, carefully incorporating both new and review materials.
I have no idea where she gets this from. Not from me, not from her mother.