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Mr. Mustache, another librarian blog

I am a reference librarian with experience in both the public and state government fields. I am doing this on a whim, sort of like the mustache I grew when I was 19 and still have in my 50's.

Location: New Jersey, United States

I am a state worker and a librarian.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Would you like an intern

As the leaves start to change their color in the fall, one of the questions a librarian may be asked is "Would you like to take in an intern". It is a question fraught with pitfalls. If you, like most librarians, are constantly complaining about being short-staffed, saying no can make it seem like you aren't as short handed as you say you are. After all, you turned down having an intern. And you don't look like much of a team player, do you?

On the other hand if you say yes you are at the mercy of whoever comes knocking on your door. You will have to train them. Do they want to learn? You will have to supervise them. Do they want to work? Your hours must correspond with their limited schedule. You can imagine yourself coming to work on your day off just so you'll be there for the intern. And what will they do? Something not too difficult or too boring. And where will they sit? Can you find a computer for them to use?
You remember the intern from a summer or two ago who completely disarranged the reference collection. It was Christmas before you could find the Bartlett's book.

But let us be positive. My eyes close. I see a sweet young intern with her cute short skirt and her cute poor-boy haircut. "Would you like some banana bread, Mr. Mustache? My mother made them."..."Don't make coffee, sit down I'll make it in a jiff". And you have an audience for all your wisdom and anectodes about your years in the profession.

Of course you could get a disappearing intern. "She was here a minute ago. I don't know where she went". Turns out she is smoking cigarettes outside with the male intern.
The biggest problem with interns is that you just get them trained on something and it turns out to be their last day. ....Still, it has been a while since I had homemade zucchini bread.


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