Tuesday, March 12, 2013
preparation for an on-site visit
Several months ago I began to brainstorm libraries I wanted to visit. One if my first choices was Johns Hopkins Library. As both an academic library as well as a research library, I was incredibly curious. For one of my classes I completed an assignment that involved comparing library web portals, and upon looking at the JHU library, I was struck by their... openness. Many academic libraries I've seen online tend to lean towards campus accessibility rather than public transparency, but JHU had social media out the ears, and each one met their high standards and uplifted their reputation. At this point, I thought that maybe I could talk to their person in charge of social media or outreach and talk with their electronic services librarian to knock out this assignment at the same time, so I sent an email to their general inquiries email address.
Within a few days I had an email which gave me three names to contact, and their responses were swift, polite, and enquiring. As we emailed back and forth, I supplied the assignment questions to give them a more specific idea of what I was hoping to learn. I was invited to visit the campus on March 8th and speak with a few librarians and the women who ran their social media accounts, and I eagerly accepted.
I want to take a moment and reflect on the fact that four women who work at a prestigious library took the time out of their busy schedules near midterms to speak with a student from a different university. This humbles me deeply and makes me so grateful for the kindness that seems to run through the library community. There have been many instances where I've experienced it, and it's both encouraging and inspiring to know that I'm beginning a career in which I may be surrounded by people of this sort. Hopefully we'll all adopt their characteristics and practice them daily.