Today I received an email from a student that caused me to stop and reflect. Well, to be fair, I read it and quickly shot off an email response and didn’t give it much thought. But then it occurred to me that there’s plenty to reflect on here. First, I’m not at work today (well not the usual sense of work)- I’m in another state, at a library conference. So kudos to me for my timely response to a “reference question”, right? [insert glowing compliments here].
But more importantly, the question tells a story. The question came from a music grad student at Baylor with whom I’d worked in the past. Each Fall, for more than a decade, I’ve been fortunate to be a part of the School of Music’s graduate research methods course, working alongside wonderful colleagues from the SOM who see the value of libraries and librarians and who are willing to share the stage with me to help guide their students through the morass of electronic tools and resources that can help them navigate through the metaphoric sea of information. More on that later.
Here’s the email I received (name withheld to protect the innocent) and below it, my reflections.
From: IDENTITY REMOVED@baylor.edu>
Date: April 11, 2013, 2:55:54 PM EDT
To: “Towers, Sha”
Subject: Google Reader is closing!
You got me hooked on Google’s RSS in Research Methods last semester and now they’re closing it! I’m heart-broken! It’s so sad. What am I supposed to use now? What would you recommend?
Anyway, I hope you’re having a great day!
As I thought more about this email, there were several things that stood out to me.
BTW, I told her to check out Feedly.com – where I just finished moving my own google reader universe.
So you if you’re still reading and you happen to remember (or glance back up at the title of this blogpost), you’re probably thinking I’m patting myself on the back for “making a difference” in the life of this student. But that’s only part of the story. The other part is that this email, this experience of helping people, this “being a librarian” is rewarding…fulfilling…meaningful. This email made me stop and realize that this work, this job, this vocation, makes a difference to me.