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Skills to Make a Librarian by Dawn Lowe-Wincentsen

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10

My journey from certified bra fitter to reference librarian

Robin L. Ewing

Abstract

This chapter examines how one librarian went from selling bras to providing reference service in an academic library. Although some decry the retail influence on reference work, retail experience can positively affect reference work. Bra fitters learn quickly that tact and sensitivity are required for a successful sale. Effective reference librarians employ those same skills with students. Students feel helpless when they ask a question, and admit they don’t know how to find resources in the library. Stress is another common denominator between the two fields. The hectic pace that starts with Black Friday, and ends with returns the day after Christmas: ...

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