Different levels of appreciation
It is amazing how you make a mark on the lives of some of our students without realising it. I work in Queensland in a TAFE library with between 600 and 900 students through the doors each day; a majority of our students that we work closely with are English as second language students. Last Friday a colleague and I were discussing the closure of two department libraries and the sacking of all the staff from those libraries, as well as the pending sacking of some of the staff from our own library. An international student overheard us discussing this situation and jumped to the conclusion that our library was going to close: she and the others around her were horrified at the prospect, they offered to sign anything, wanted to know who they could talk to about it, one even offered to protest (somewhere) to get it changed.
We get thanked by teachers and sometimes by students for helping them with their projects or referencing or IT problems, but I believe that we as TLs or Librarians don’t realise how much some students value the support that we give and a place of learning that we provide. One students summed it up when she said “Oh my God, what am I going to do, where am I going to go to get someone to help me”.
On one hand we have Government who don’t appreciate us and what we do and close us down, and on the other hand we have students who really need us and are willing to fight to keep us, the ‘light bulb’ moments when I can help a student to get it, are why I love working in libraries.