The Art of Silence — and the Delightful Absence of It

Finding that silent time in which the world falls away and one can focus completely on work is the perfect moment of zen.

One would think working from home would allow for such moments to occur a lot and naturally. I suppose if you live alone, it might be possible. However, because I am sharing a space with a fiancé, four cats, and a future father-in-law, I am only able to reach such calm with the help of headphones white noise. Between the conference calls, the zoomies (the cats running around the house at top speed from room to room), and sharing an office, my moments of zen and silence are few and far between.

workplace-2303851_1920
Image by LUM3N from Pixabay

For most of the morning, I am monitoring the virtual library chat, keeping a keen ear out for the beep to let me know I have a message, while working on various other tasks. The headphones block out noise and keep me focused. They allow me to tune out the daily meetings my fiancé has and narrow my attention to my tasks at hand.

After chat, the headphones bring in music, which as a librarian is a rare treat. We are so used to working in silence, or with a low mummer of noise, that music is a rarity for us during work hours. I tend to find that music heightens my ability to immerse myself in my work. The world around me falls away and I can concentrate on my tasks.

However I miss it: I miss the murmurs, the questions, the interruptions (never truly an interruption, of course, for these queries are so much more important than what I was working on), and most of all, the people. Our students, professors, and staff who visit us in the library for help, and who always have a friendly smile on their faces, knowing we will do our best to help them.

two tou
Image by Paweł Czerwiński on Unsplash

But we aren’t there yet — we cannot assist you face-to-face at our desk among the books. But the library is still “open” online, and we librarians still have a smile and are ready to help you. Please, “interrupt” our day and make it a wonderful one. We love to help!

Check out our Student Guide to Remote Library Resources: https://www.tourolib.org/student-remote-guide

This post was contributed by Heather Hilton, Librarian, Bay Shore

 

New Library Staff Profile

genesis_blog

Where were you born?

I was born in Brooklyn, New York and lived in Williamsburg for the first 16 years of my life.

Where else have you lived?

Besides Brooklyn, I have lived on Long Island. I currently reside in a village home to a (moderately famous) prognosticating groundhog and one of the last cooperative farms on Nassau County.

Continue reading

Bother A Librarian Today

young men at reference desk, early 20th century
A librarian’s dream: Patrons lining up at the reference desk! (image via NYPL Digital Collections)

“I hate to bother you, but…”

Just stop right there.

Librarians want to be bothered.

We are waiting for your questions.

Each question is an adventure. You ask for help; we go on a quest to seek the information. The puzzle to figure out the best keywords to pull up better articles is a mystery to be solved.  Continue reading

Interlibrary Loan

I am a library assistant at Touro College’s Midwood Campus. But I am also Touro’s coordinator of interlibrary loans. This service allows all Touro sites to share our resources and to exchange information with institutions outside the Touro College Library system. Even though the Midwood library has an extensive collection of books, periodicals, video tapes, CD-ROMs and DVDs there is always something we do not have. However, we can get almost anything if it is available to the public, and sometimes even if it is in a private collection. Continue reading

The TCL Time Machine: Touro’s First Library (Part 1 of 2)

When Rabbi Dr. Bernard Lander set about to establish Touro College over forty years ago, one of the first and most formidable challenges he faced was securing a building to house the new school.  In a densely populated and high-priced city like New York, this was no easy task.  After considering other locations, he was able to obtain an historic 11-story building at 30 West 44th Street, between 5th and 6th Avenues in Manhattan.

Image

Exterior of Touro’s first home, at 30 West 44th Street. This image was used extensively in early promotional materials for the new college.

Continue reading

Open Until Midnight

Extended hours for Finals Spring 2013For the next three weeks, the Bay Shore campus Library will be open until midnight on selected dates.  There are a total of 7 dates that the library will be open late.  The dates were carefully selected to coincide with the largest number of final exams.  The final exam schedules for all of our degree programs were taken into consideration when choosing the dates.  This is only the second term in which we are experimenting with extended hours during finals.  We will be keeping statistics to see if the service is utilized enough to continue to offer it.  So come on down to your library to study late!  And give us your feedback on our extended hours during finals.

images