Yesterday (Friday) was my fifteenth day working at a public library. It felt positively easy after some of the other days last week. I’m discovering that some days are relatively calm while others are a whirlwind of activity… Therefore, days like these are gold, and should be savored when they pop up, because there’s sure to be a hectic day just around the corner.

Some interesting (and satisfying) things happened today.

A young woman came in looking for how-to books on catering and bartending. While we didn’t have any books on the topics currently on the shelf at our tiny branch, I was able to refer her to a larger, specialized branch that did have these materials. And, unlike many patrons who have waited till the last minute to do their research, she had the time and energy to actually physically go to that branch despite the one hour train ride. And then, just because I was curious, I did some more research after she left, and found that we had at least one e-book in our system on bartending, so I emailed her the link.

A Russian woman who spoke sparse amounts of English came in and managed to communicate that she was looking for a book about New York City, written in Russian.

I’m not sure that my search was the most sophisticated, but I managed to turn up a book in the online catalog that intrigued her. But since this book was at another branch, we’d have to put in a reservation for the book for her and request that it be sent to our branch. This, however, was difficult to communicate with the language barrier. Then it hit me. I could finally make use of the AltaVista Babelfish translation website!

Go ahead and laugh at my nerdiness, but it was fun to type in the sentences in English and then get to see the look of happy comprehension in her eyes as she read the Russian translation of how the reservation process works.

“Da, da!” she said, with a broad smile, while her tiny son looked on. Da, indeed! Satisfaction achieved.

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