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Librarians offer research expertise to patrons

10:14 AM, Dec 23, 2009   |    comments
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"We're their personal search engines," said Pamela Bagby, librarian.

The Arapahoe Library District recently launched the "Book a Librarian" program. Patrons can schedule one-on-one time with a librarian who can aide in researching virtually any topic from travel to health to homework.

"You kind of have to be almost a counselor or pastor in some ways," said Bagby, one of the 22 librarians across Arapahoe County trained for the program.

Bagby says librarians can act as information detectives guiding patrons through the miles and miles of books as well as the Internet.

"I think it's wonderful because very often the library is difficult to navigate," said Ellen Witkin, library patron. "There's so much information out now."

Laurie Christensen is the manager of information services for the Arapahoe Library District. She wants the library to be more personal.

"We're seeing a lot more people come in and we want to service their information needs," said Christensen.

So far, the Book a Librarian program has helped 200 people, including a grandmother who wanted to learn how to play video games so she can connect with her grandkids. Christensen says they can't do the homework for students, but they can point in the direction of the answers.

"(The librarians) love helping people and it becomes like a treasure hunt for them," said Christensen. "It's more fun when they have to really dig and delve to get to the information."

If you want to book a librarian, free of charge, just call your local Arapahoe County branch, go online, or visit them in person.

"We learn something every day because we don't know everything," said Bagby. "But, we know how to find what you need."

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