Wednesday, August 31, 2011

How Reading Helps

Two weeks ago I recognized one of the university's student tour guides standing at our Information Desk while I was walking out of the building. I stopped by to say 'hi' and she told me she was working on a research paper for her History of Photography class. Right away I thought "that is super cool" and I asked her what she was writing about.

"Well, this guy named Robert Mapplethorpe? I don't know anything about him and I need one more source and then I'll start writing."

Wow-za. Perfect! I read Just Kids awhile ago and loved it. I asked her if she had heard of the book, to which she replied no. In a very serendipitous moment, the book was on display on a nearby shelf. I handed it to her and told her about his time as an artist in NYC, his relationship with Patti as his muse, his yearning to be in Andy Warhol's inner circle, and about how he died. I told her to look through the book to get an idea of who he was as a person and how that shaped his life as an artist. I may or may not have gotten overly excited but maybe I inspired her to look forward to writing about such a fascinating artist. She checked out the book (and some others) and was on her way.

Fast-forward to today. During a fire drill I saw her and asked her how her paper went. She said it was hard to write (it was due at midnight that same day) but her professor gave her kudos for including the aspects of his life that I told her would be in Just Kids. She got a 98%! I felt so good that I could be Ms. Eager Librarian to help a student. I wouldn't have known anything about Robert Mapplethorpe without reading the book either, which tells me it's a good idea to have a steady reading habit as a librarian. I still cannot believe that the stars aligned that day and I was able to use my knowledge to help someone. Don't we all kind of want to be walking encyclopedias? Or is that just me?

1 comment:

  1. This story is why people want to become librarians. :)