My experience as the Fortebaugh Intern in Research and Instruction these past few weeks have flown by. By sitting on the “other side” of the Research Help Desk, and being able to interact with various people (whether that be the inquisitive college student who has a question, or librarians here at Musselman library) my perceptions of what libraries are, their purpose and function, as well as the idea and practice of librarianship have altered and allowed me to look and think about libraries in a different light.
As the title of this blog post suggests, I have become more comfortable at the Research Help Desk. Now that my training is over, I have been perusing the research guides and databases of disciplines that I was not originally familiar with, such as Art History and Chemistry. By becoming more familiar with different types of databases, and exploring them and the features that they have, I am becoming more confident in my reference skills. I have even begun answering questions and assisting those who are in the midst of their research journey. In the beginning the questions were more general, (e.g. How can I print from my laptop? Where is the writing center?) but now that the semester is underway the questions are becoming more specific (e.g. What is MLA, and did I cite this source correctly? Can I access this newspaper online? Where can I find this specific article?). I expect that as the semester continues, and as projects and papers become assigned, the questions will become even more specific and require an increased amount of time dedicated in order to answer the patron’s question.
I look forward to continuing my work at the Research Help Desk, and I am excited of the potential questions that may come my way in the next few weeks.