Today’s post comes to us from ILN Program Coordinator Kate Byrne:
Some years ago now, I was a fairly new librarian who had been assigned to outreach to the engineering faculty at my university. My mission was to attempt to build new relationships between the library and the research community by meeting within individual researchers to find out more about what they do and how the library could better support them.
The Faculty of Engineering at my university was quite large, but many of the researchers didn’t spend much time in their offices as they were often teaching or away researching in labs. So I spent a fair bit of time making phone calls to try to introduce myself and set up appointments.
One day, I’d been having a particularly slow day without much luck contacting any of my researchers. I just kept working my way down the list when suddenly someone picked up their phone. I quickly explained that I hoped to come and meet with him and he seemed a little bemused but said ‘Sure – why not’. Then he asked me “Would you like to have a go of my simulator?” I said – “Ok”, arranged the appointment and hung up the phone. It was only after I got off the phone that I realised I hadn’t asked what kind of simulator it was…
The day of the appointment dawned and I arrived (wearing trousers and enclosed shoes just in case!) to meet the researcher, a little trepidatious of what I might find. Lo and behold – it was a flight simulator – and I proceeded to have one of the most disconcerting but memorable meetings of my life. All I can say, it is quite tricky to try and undertake a library consultation whilst flying a plane!