22 September, 2010

it's all greek to me

Information Service Questions of the Day

Late this afternoon I received a phone call from a lady requesting books in other languages.
I began to explain to her that we have books in other languages in each of our branches (Community Languages collection), and was there a particular language she was interested in? She said that she was after books in Greek, and did we have a printed catalogue?
I had a sudden visual memory surge of timber draws with metal handles filled with hole punched index cards in the library of my childhood, but I moved on.

I asked if she had internet access at home so she could look at our online catalogue, but she did not.
I said that I would be happy to show her our catalogue when next she is in the library. ('I' being the collective Information Services team because I move across branches with no set routine, so I was suggesting that anyone on our team will be happy to show her).
It is then that she said that she would like the books for her elderly husband, and that she would like a printout to show him the titles as he is unable to come in.

I had searched on 'Greek' and collection: Community Languages by this time and found 7 titles.
Our Community Languages collection is sourced from SLQ.
I said that we could certainly print out a list of seven titles. As I mentioned our source, my customer asked if she could have a printout of their titles. I thought that might be a different thing entirely, especially in its entirety.
She wanted printouts to show her husband at home. She was particulary keen to see if the titles were in English as well as Greek because she does not speak Greek. She did not want to have to keep coming back asking if we had this title or that title.

After contacting Heather (assistant cataloguer who liaises with SLQ for commlang supplies) I got back to the customer with the relevant information in front of me. A quick search on SLQ's commlang collection found 1604 titles in modern Greek fiction and nonfiction.
I suggested she come in to the library so information services staff could show her the search, she could select a range and we could print out a list.
Of course not all of those from the search are available, but we can sift through to discover which of these we can request for our customer.
Generally our library service has a changeover of languages six monthly, but SLQ is open to requests as necessary.
Our customer was pleased and said that she would visit on Friday. She asked if I would be there. Unfortunately not, but I advised her who would be available that day and have sent that staff member details of our search today.
A bit of a heads up too, because we do not at the moment have printer access from that information services point. Our hard drive was just returned after a ritual cleansing, and the KM guy just said we would be able to find the printer name and add - unfortunately no.
I'd checked everything else with him when he was there. Spydus access, network access, email access, clone screening. Just not the printer *sigh*

Letting the customer know that we can provide her with access to a list of Greek books for her husband was a good result for her, and for us as enhancing the usage of our community language resources is one of our kpi targets. Needs to rise 15%.
Today I contributed to literacy satisfaction and percentages. Yay.

I recently worked with Heather to source nonfiction books in the Urdu language for a customer recently arrived from Pakistan. Our Customer Services team is working on providing a suite of information for our new members from Somalia.

Hey Dorothy, we are not in Maryborough anymore...

SLQ's LOTE collection languages:

* I also had an enquiry from a gentleman about Indigenous resources. I showed him our collection and mentioned similar collections in the other branches. He was very impressed with the range and how it was organised.
This time a nice memory of Kerry, our Indigenous Resources librarian, came to me. She would have been happy that the collection suited the gentleman.
He had a very cute daughter who wanted chapter books and cookery books. I showed her the way and asked what she liked to cook. "Cakes!" We looked through a few and I read out some mouthwatering cake names. She laughed.
Another good day at the office.

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