Solo librarians can be like bartenders! People often come into their workspaces and bear their souls. Quite like the patient bartender who has heard many a tale, so has the solo librarian. I say solo librarian because if staff members walk by and see that there is no class in the library, they may stop and chat.
An empty library can be like an oasis with a silent welcoming wave whispering, “Come on in.” Those staff members may respectfully stand but they fill the empty room with their thoughts and feelings as they voice their concerns during their few available minutes.
In my case, they were all welcome into the library for none had a beef with me. They just saw this as a grand opportunity to say what they needed to say. Their vents ranged from job situations to personal concerns. They just needed a place to breathe deeply, get whatever out in the open and gather a new point of view. Yes, a think-aloud.
It has been said that if a person can vent and hear his or her own thoughts, they can find a solution. Whether they were talking about things that caused deep angst or merely reflecting on past events, they were able to purge a little, hear themselves think and unburden their souls.
Listening is a skill that many simply do not possess. They look as if they hear, but they are simply waiting on their turn to speak. Good listeners will interject comments in all the right places and the speaker knows that they have truly been heard. The responses are timely, noteworthy and thought-provoking.
And very importantly, there is a silent trust and confidence, and the speakers feel certain that the conversation will not be repeated up and down the corridors and hallways of the building. Nor will it be put on social media nor any other public format. What is said in the room stays in the room.
So, quite like the bartender who continually polishes the glasses or rearranges the bottles along the shelves, the solo librarian continually reshelves books or works on the inventory while the speaker speaks. As the person is promenading back and forth while unloading, they get it out of their systems knowing that their words will stay safely tucked inside the walls of that space. Afterwards, they can sigh and continue on!
November 12, 2022