A librarian is a jack of all trades and master of all too. Well, master of knowledge of all trades. Well, master of where to find information on all trades.
I learned something vital during the holidays this year. If you are with your very extended family and you really want some quiet alone time…answer the questions. All the questions. When an exasperated relative shouts “That was rhetorical!” Explain what rhetorical means. If possible, pull out supporting evidence with your iTablet/nettop/kindle-nook/smart phone or the old standby, a physical book. Bonus points if you come back to the Questioner several hours later with documentation.
Truly, I have the most patient extended family in history.
I’ve been informed that at times, just sometimes, I can be a “know-it-all”. Well, yes, I do know quite a bit about a variety of subjects and I’m not particularly shy about sharing that knowledge. I think that is part of my librarian-allure. It certainly is what lured me into librarianship.
Am I the only one who has a hard time keeping silent when overhearing someone who is ill-informed on a subject but is, nonetheless, waxing poetic on said subject? For example (purely hypothetical of course), let’s say you’re visiting Windsor Castle. No, wait, too big. Let’s go with just Queen Mary’s Dolls’ house. You’re standing there, marveling over the itty bitty wine bottles. Suddenly you hear someone explaining the doll house was a toy for the little princesses and that the current British Queen (Elizabeth II) played with it when young. You freeze. You try, oh so hard, not to hear. You casually look about for the kindly but ignorant individual. You debate internally on whether the non-true-sayer should be corrected. Will this affect the life of the listener? Shall final jeopardy (or the million dollar question) come down to Queen Mary’s Doll’s House? Probably not. So – what if the situation was different? What if it was something that could cause adverse effects? Perhaps someone is lost and attempting to get directions. Do you interrupt the one leading the lost astray? Where is the line between being helpful and being annoying? Or is it, like beauty, in the eye of the beholder?
I am working on learning to give the shorter answers some people seem to crave. My nature is one of full and complete answer – covering all possible contingencies. Just look in the previous paragraph – I artfully noted the name of the current Queen and what monarchy she presides over. Wee little bits of extra facts, it seems to me, are to be appreciated. However, strangely enough, I have found many people just want that “yes” or “no” and not a full discourse.
Isn’t that odd?