Today was my first official day as a reference assistant. I didn't actually work at the reference (a.k.a. information) desk. I spent my time training at the circulation (a.k.a. checkout) desk, learning the computer system. Why these areas each have two different names, I haven't a clue.
It was a good morning and I hope I remember all I learned. I did card renewals, a new library card application, return of a lost item, found items on hold that customers couldn't locate on their own, received payments for fines, and plain old checked out books. My coworkers were helpful and the customers were wonderful - patient and supportive. I was told that it's rare in our branch to have a problem customer, but it does happen from time to time. I'm thankful it didn't happen on my first shift!
In the future it will be rare for me to be at the checkout desk, but I do need to know how to do it. Next week I'll have my official training on the computer system followed by a few days working at our branch, cementing in the knowledge. Once I have that under my belt I'll be learning how to do my real job - helping customers with research - and eventually I'll be trained to run the many programs offered by the library.
I'm so glad I worked as a support staff member first before getting this position. Knowing the staff, the branch layout and our collection gives me a bit of a head start and should make the learning curve slightly less steep.
This afternoon I volunteered in my son's grade two class and was able to watch him present his Home Project - a five minute presentation in front of his classmates on a topic of his choice. He chose Monkeys and Apes. When asked why he made this choice, he told the class "because my brother is a monkey". Nice!