For the sake of privacy, I have decided to assign a fictitious name to all the patrons I help (or at least try to help) at the library. For boys I shall name them ‘Frank’ and for girls I shall name them…actually I don’t have a name picked out for girls yet, so if you have any suggestions, throw ’em my way!
Growing up, Frank was always the go-to made up person that we giggled about. I actually can’t remember the specific reason we had a Frank. I do remember that my dad got a kick out of the name, so I’ve always felt the same irresistible urge to chuckle whenever I hear it.
I apologize to any ‘Franks’ reading this post right now.
Anyway, so yesterday I noticed a young Frank looking at the shelves in the juvenile section. He had the classic, “I don’t know where the book I want is” look on his face so, being a good, nay, a terrific, librarian I asked if I could help him find something.
Frank said he was looking for The Lost Hero. I actually knew who the author was (thank you Missy for introducing me to Rick Riordan) so we headed to the shelf where Rick would’ve been.
So we looked in the catalog, Frank and I did, and realized that Ridgefield didn’t have the book he wanted. I offered to put it on hold for him, but he said he had too many books on hold (the limit is 50, so I kind of doubt it) and that he wanted something to read right now.
Ladies and Gentleman, gather round for the event of the century! Elizabeth, novice librarian extraordinaire, is about to conduct her first, yes, very first reader’s advisory interview.
Yeah…it didn’t go quite as well as I’d hoped.
“So, what have you liked about Rick Riordan books?”I asked maybe a little too enthusiastically.
(that is a classic open-ended reader’s advisory question)
“I don’t know. I just like Rick Riordan.” Frank said in a monotone, while averting his eyes from my own.
“Okay, well did you like the characters or the adventure?” I said hoping he’d give me something to go off of.
“I don’t know. I just like Rick Riordan.”
Frank just wasn’t working with me.
At this point I just started pulling books off the shelf and recommending stuff. He ended up taking a book that I just recently reviewed for the School Library Journal, so that was cool, but needless to say, I have learned that reader’s advisory is not a one-way street.
Another young Frank came to the desk nearing the latter end of my shift to check out his books and whipped out a duct tape wallet.
“Did you make your wallet?” I asked.
“Yes.” Frank said.
“I made a duct tape wallet for my husband but it is falling apart.” I said.
“I could make one for you.” Frank said.
I’m loving my job.