Monday, August 29, 2016

When patrons form their opinion based on research

A couple of months ago, I had a patron come into the library looking for books on Islam. She asked me a couple of questions, came back the next day and took the books I offered her from my personal collection. About a little less than a week after that, handed them back with a smile and a thank you.

Over the next couple of months, whenever I saw her, I was greeted with a genuine smile and a 'how are you'? Neither of us mentioning the books.

She came in last week looking for me, asking if she could talk to me for a couple of minutes. She had many questions about Islam, and she came ready for answers about various aspects of it. I answered her questions as best I could. As she asked her questions, I saw that they've changed from the first time she asked them. This time, there was a real passion, wonderment, and a need to know.

So I asked if I could ask her a question in return. A question that, to be honest, I wondered about after our first conversation a couple months back. I asked her what got her interested.

She smiled and says, "I've been feeling lost for a while. And it's because I NEED religion in my life. I am Christian, but something doesn't feel right to me. The first time I asked you, I'd been looking deeper into Christianity, I studied Judaism, and I looked into Islam. And what I found about Islam is that it did not add up with what I was seeing in the media. It's all about good. How to live a good life. How to be a good person. How to give. How to be kind. And the more I read, the more I found peace here (she points at the center of her chest). I stopped feeling lost and I wanted to know more. I feel like I'm finally home because I'm not lost".

In that last line. "I feel like I'm finally home because I'm not lost". I definitely teared up. I felt my heart ache. Many of us had/have our obstacles with religion. Obstacles we generally don't talk about. Where we fall off the path a little. We stop praying. We get angry. We blame the world. We blame God. And we move further and further away from him. And then someone says something in passing that rings a bell. Or you watch someone on TV and something strikes a cord. Or out of nowhere, it's almost like God himself is say it's time, and you find yourself praying. Or you find yourself breaking down and the only words you repeat is "oh God" over and over again.

And in that first millisecond of your intention to do it, to go back to Him, you feel everything fall into place. The world stops spinning. The weight lifts off your shoulder. You're "home".

And isn't that all we ever want? May she and anyone else looking to feel "home" find their way. Amen.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

When patrons want your help then dont listen to you

I had an elderly woman come in requesting help with her tablet through a book-a-librarian appointment (an uninterrupted hour of one on one help with a librarian). I sat with her to see what she needed. She wanted to access her email, her Facebook, the news and to look up obituaries of people she knew.

As I was taking her across different platforms we ended up on American Action News. In the top right hand corner there was a survey that was titled "DO YOU SUPPORT TRUMP" (yes) or (no). She turns to me eagerly, "yes, yes I support him, how do I support him?". Me, being the hijabi librarian that I am , who is probably going to get deported or forced to wear a label if Trump becomes president. Even though (and this might be mind boggling for him) I was born here, smiles and says "you can click here and fill out the form" (because of course, job comes first).

As she fills out the form she turns to me again and says "I really like Trump". I smile and nod pointing out what she needs to fill. "even though I am a Democrat, I support Trump and want him to know". I smile and nod, encourages her to continue in order not to get into a political debate. "Now Trump will know and my vote will count". I smile and nod... no wait.

Me: "This is not actually voting, you need to go to the polls during the election for that"
Her: "No, no. I am voting now, this is what it is."
Me: "No... this is just an online survey, you need to go to the polls for that during the election for it to count".
Her: "No, they do everything online now, this is where I vote".

*continues attempting to tell her how voting works*

Me: *attempts to correct her again, sees the determination in her eyes, and stops* "okay, since you're done, hit submit"

As an information professional, it is my job to pass on CORRECT information. However, if you choose not to believe me, that's on you. Here is to many more Trump supporters who support him online and don't actually go to the polls.

As Dewey says, "I don't have to like you to help you".

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child book review!


Cursed Child spoilers that aren't really spoilers.

When I first heard
that an 8th book was happening I was beyond elated. Reading that "19 years later" at the end of Deathly Hallows left me angry. Because I wanted more. I remember thinking "she should have written another book, what is this epilogue crap". And more I got, although not in the way I wanted. The rumors that weren't really rumors aretrue. The book is a script of the play that was performed in London. It is not an actual novel, that was the most disappointing part for me. Once I got past that, once I was able to go back to visualizing the characters, I found myself speeding through the book. Whatever J. K. Rowling touches, it is spun gold. Following the trio 19 years later, meeting the cursed child, my eyes flew across the page and transported me back to the days I would curl up on the couch and not move until the book was done. My have I missed those days. The hardest part for me was realizing that this is actually the end. That anything else, should it happen, that is Rowlings Magic related, will be in the form of a spinoff. And it's left me as heartbroken as the day I finished Deathly Hallows. However, every and all spinoffs that should happen shall be consumed eagerly by me. The magic will always live on. Always. 

If you were apprehensive
about reading it because you aren't sure if it'll ruin the series for you, read it anyway. No one will do you justice like the form of Rowlings writing style. And you REALLY don't want to know what happens when you accidentally read spoilers. Read it. Read it. Read it.