Monday night I went in to do my internship at the library. Now, I'd had a pretty crappy day on Monday and I toyed with the idea of calling my supervisor and telling her I wouldn't be able to come in (they're pretty flexible with me since I'm not actually acting in an employee capacity). But I figured the sooner I got my 120 hours in, the better.
I went to the reference desk and my supervisor gave me a project to do which required my full attention, but it was a bit tedious. I was actually happy to have the task because I was ready for something slightly mindless, but that needed to be done. While I was doing that, a seven-year-old girl came up to the desk and asked me if the library had any books about "rare creatures."
After getting through a few specifics (which is what they trained us to do in library school), I figured out that she wanted books on endangered species. I started searching through the database and found some nice children's non-fiction picture books that I thought would work for her. But before I could show her what I found, she told me she wanted "big thick books with lots of words" and she didn't want anything with very many pictures because that was kids' stuff.
Hand-over-heart, that's exactly what she told me.
So, I scrapped my last search and started looking for adult non-fiction books on endangered species. I found a few titles and I took her to the animals section of adult non-fiction. I found one title - and it was this huge biography-looking thing. Even after our reference interview, I was still a little nervous about giving her something too advanced for her. But she took the book from me and cuddled it like it was her favorite teddy bear. She even said that her parents didn't let her read that stuff because they thought it was too old for her, but she would sneak her dad's books out and read them.
On the one hand, I didn't want any parents upset at me. On the other hand, it's library policy to give patrons whatever they want - regardless of how old they are (unless they're kids with restricted cards - and even then the only thing we can restrict is R-rated movies).
We found some other titles she said looked good. She said she wanted to look around on her own for a bit and I went back to the desk. About 45 minutes later, I was helping another patron when she came back and ended up talking to another librarian at the desk. In addition to the books I had found for her, she had about three more books and was asking for more.
It just made my heart all warm and fuzzy to see a kid that age asking for books like that. And being dead serious about it too. The best way I can describe her attitude was "Don't patronize me with that childish BS." Kids like that give me hope for the future.
I love my job :)