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Showing posts from November, 2016

All You Have to Do is Ask

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Every now and then at the reference desk, I end an interaction feeling frustrated that I have not provided the level of service I want for our member. The feeling is familiar to any librarian, I’m sure, and there are a variety of reasons for it. But one I notice consistently is that I find myself unprepared or unsure when talking to a member who is deaf, or who has a disability that makes it hard to communicate, or whose needs I know I am not filling. Even when the end result is sending the person away with the item or help they came for, I always end up wishing I had found a way to do better, but unsure how.

Well, it seems I may have been overthinking things. As it turns out, perhaps all I had to do was ask.

Over the summer, I was fortunate to have a dynamic group high school volunteers, including one teen who is deaf.  “Heather” was passionate, engaged, and full of ideas. And she was excited and enthusiastic about helping the library improve our services to the deaf community. She d…