In the last post to this discussion, I recommended several ways to prepare for a successful trip to your local library. Now we are ready to discuss the first three things you should do when you get to your library. All three of these easy tasks can be accomplished at the circulation (or check-out) desk. I used to think that I should go there last, but I now understand that it makes my life easier if I stop there first and then again at the end of my trip. This may vary upon the size of your library and the busyness at the desk that day.
· First, SMILE! Librarians are typically very nice people who are great with customer service, but they appreciate your kindness and upbeat attitude, too. (Besides that, smiling will make you feel better as well!) Getting to know your librarian is important for your ongoing interests at the library. (More on the how and why of this in a later post.)
· Next, turn in your previously checked out materials. This can be accomplished via a bookdrop in a different area of your library, but is best achieved with a personal interaction to be sure that there are no problems with your library account. If you have fees that need to be paid, do so at this time. (Hopefully, after reading through this series, that will not be a problem!) OK – Now, smile again!
· Finally, once all of the books have been digitally returned, ask for a receipt of all currently checked out materials or ask what you still have out. Sometimes one book or DVD can easily be left behind or even missed when being scanned in. Starting with a clean slate or at least an organized idea of what you have out is essential to the start of your library experience. Now that you have your library tote empty, you are ready to continue on your library expedition!
In the next segment of “Your Trip to the Library,” I will discuss how books are categorized in most libraries.