Earlier this semester, a student came to the Reference Desk here at the library and told me he wanted to read as much as he could by the great philosophers of the world. After a few minutes of discussion and a search of the library catalog, he went upstairs to the philosophy section to browse.
I was amazed to see the same student at my office door a few hours later, book in hand, to thank me for sending him on a mind trip. He said exploring the library stacks (that’s what we call the many shelves on the second and third floors) was overwhelming, invigorating, and revelatory.
And that’s what I love so much about working at the Leonard Lief Library Reference Desk: it allows me to share a small part of the excitement and the challenges of being a student.
For those who don’t know, the Reference Desk is a place where you can ask pretty much any question, from the location of the IT center to the most recently-discovered digit of Pi, and have a librarian do his or her damndest to help you get an answer. Primarily, though, students come to ask us research questions – how do I find a book, or where can I get an article for my paper – and this is really our forte. We’re experts at research, and we have to be prepared to delve into questions in any and all subject areas. In its own way, it can be pretty overwhelming, invigorating, and revelatory, too.
Stop by and see us sometime. We’re located on the first floor of the library, just behind the computers. I can’t promise a mind trip, but we’ll do our best.
Instructional Technologies Librarian