Come in! Come in! Come on in!

Medical Library Welcomes You

Welcome to the Medical Library, we like to think that all those who come through these doors will receive the help they ask for and so much more. It is an academic library, but in addition to catering to staff and students of the university,  the library is here for anyone who is employed by any of the Northern Ireland Trusts. In other words social workers, nurses, doctors, radiologists, speech therapists, psychologists, porters, managers and many others who work within the Health and Social Care Trusts.

Many arrive here for the first time, unaware of what this library will be able to offer. It is similar to going to a foreign country where the language, customs and roads are unfamiliar. Everyone who comes in has different attitudes, needs and experiences Some are nervous, perhaps they haven’t studied for a while; others have had bad experiences of a library. Often they have so much to do they just don’t know where to start.

Our first task is to be approachable, make everyone feel comfortable in their new surroundings. A smile is often enough to bring the customer to you, or a simple ‘Can I help you?’. That’s where it starts.

In academic libraries of old, the customer or library user was referred to as a ‘reader’. We use that term interchangeably!

Today a reader came to the desk, honestly I didn’t even remember her, but she greeted me as if she knew me well. I responded in kind. When today’s transaction was finished, she said, ‘I’ll never forget how you helped me when I came to the library. I was sitting over there and you saw I was in difficulty and came to my aid. You showed me how to get the information I needed and referred me to the girl who gave me help on using the databases. I never looked back and I’ve now finished my masters. I’m really grateful’.

That made my day. I was delighted. To have taken away her fear of the library is so rewarding.

So come on on in, we will help if we can.

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Tara Sparling writes

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