Today I spent two hours working on the Children’s Department service desk. It was very different and highly interesting to compare the two.
Our Children’s department is like a library within a library. They have fiction, non-fiction, audio-visual collections, special collections, computers, periodicals, a reading area, and the cutest little tables and chairs I’ve ever seen. It’s a self-contained environment. And even though they are directly below us, it was like I was traveling into a different world.
On most days I’m surrounded my quietness. Whispers and clickty clacks as people discuss things with their study partners or work on the computers. Its disruptive when someone speaks on the phone, even in the lowest of voices because it’s so quiet. But like I said the children’s department is beneath us and the stairs are open so it’s not always quiet and sometimes we have loud study groups, and individuals. But we can usually quiet them down to a bearable level. In the Children’s department noise is expected and reveled.
I have to admit I had to fight my librarian instinct to go “Shush”. Although it was real fun to see such tiny people enjoying books and remembering my adventures in the same Children’s department years ago.
One little girl came up to me with the most serious face I’ve ever seen on an elementary age kid. She was looking for good books for her younger sister who was in second grade. Her sister was a really good reader so she wanted chapter books with pictures, and she liked funny stories. Of course I had no idea what to offer up but lucky some of our awesome children librarians were near by so I picked their brain. The two girls left with armfuls of books.