Saturday, November 3, 2012

I LOVE libraries and librarians!

Aaron James at story-time
Library day in school was always my favorite day. I would take my time and carefully pick out the very best book I could find to take home and read. In college, I would go to the library to "study." Actually, I would do a little research and then sit at a table with my friends and my books open and people watch and talk to friends who were passing by. But I did love the research. I always felt a little like an investigator, and I also felt very smart reading all of the information that the truly smart people had written.

It was also in my university library that I learned how to use the internet. In my last paper of graduate school I was required to use one reference from the internet. I went to one of the workers in the computer lab and  told them I didn't really know what the internet was or how to find information on it, and pleaded for assistance. They helped, I passed, and I hoped that the internet was a fleeting trend.

My next library experience was when Ramiro was in law school. I needed something to do to fill my time while he was studying, and I decided to work on my genealogy. I discovered the Clayton Library for Genealogical Research - a library filled with birth and census information and family biographies, where I, again, had the chance to feel like an investigator and search for my ancestors. I loved it!

A year or so later, when I was applying for a job transfer at M. D. Anderson, I discovered the Research Medical Library. I was researching information to help me create a project plan as part of my interview project. I had no experience searching for evidence-based health research and desperately asked the librarian at the reference desk for his help. I REALLY wanted the job and I knew I needed help getting it! He spent quite a bit of time with me teaching me how to search medical research databases, and even though I didn't know it at the time, preparing me for my next 8 years working in The Learning Center (my favorite library of all).

My favorite librarian of all!
Mentor,office-mate, friend!
The Learning Center is a health information library at MD Anderson Cancer Center.There I learned from my librarian friends who love learning and love helping others by providing information and knowledge. Knowledge is power, and that is very true for cancer patients and their families. With cancer, many times there are no clear cut answers. Decisions have to be made, sometimes very quickly. In The Learning Center I was able to help patients and families grow in knowledge so they could make more informed decisions.

Now, the library I find myself in most of the time is our local library. It is such a happy place for my children. When we go to the library, its an event. There's searching for books, reading, playing on the computer, and so much more. The librarians in the children area bring fun to our lives every week with story-time books, songs, and puppet shows. Last month, Hannah and I attended an American Girl tea party at the library that we absolutely loved; and the week of Halloween, Luke and and Hannah attended a Scooby Doo party. I so appreciate our librarians for making reading and learning fun.

I look forward to a lifetime of exploring and enjoying libraries. What is your favorite library?


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