Drat! The BDC Research Room Is Closed -- Coping Strategy #2

Coping Strategy #2: Contact one of our fine BCL reference librarians for help with your local history, culture, environment or genealogical question.

Reference librarians do now precisely what we have done since 1876.

Reference librarians:

  1. Teach people how to use the library and its resources
  2. Answer queries for specific information
  3. Recommend good sources and reading material
  4. Promote the library within the community

Only some of the tools have changed. (See this former Connections entry for a deeper discussion about the differences in tools of reference services. Click here for the original blog article by David Tyckoson.)

During the BDC Research Room shutdown for relocation and upgrading to national standards, some of our usual services are suspended. (Read about the specifics of the suspended services on the BDC Services web page.) Some of our usual services are being handled by my Reference Librarian colleagues here at Beaufort County Library system.

The oft-unheralded BCL Reference Librarians are pitching in to provide some of our usual BDC customer services while we concentrate on being good stewards during the relocation:

1. Reference librarians always stand ready to teach people how to use the library and its resources -- even when a part of the library is shutdown for relocation. Contact them at any of our branch locations.

2. Reference librarians always do their best to answer queries for specific information -- even those usually answered by BDC staff. During the shutdown, the branch Reference Librarians will help you find answers in materials, subscription databases or on the web. Please note: They won't have access to the materials inside the BDC Research Room. They cannot come and look up something for you here.

3. Reference librarians know all sorts of ways and means of recommending good sources and reading material. They can also suggest good reading materials about Beaufort's local history, culture, and environment as well as providing some assistance with genealogical sources. Please give them the opportunity to show you their skills.

4. Reference librarians always promote the library within the community. Isn't this what I'm doing by writing about other sources of library information and how other staff of the Library can assist you even while the BDC Research Room is closed July 19th - September 29th?

Wondering who your local branch library Reference Librarians might be?
At Beaufort Branch: Reference Manager Fran Hays (who's also doubling as acting Beaufort Branch Manager), Amanda Brewer, and Laura Hayden.
At Bluffton Branch: Reference Manager Francesca Denton, Traci Cox, and Staci Inman.
At Hilton Head Island Branch: Reference Manager Halle Eisenman (who's also doubling as the system webmaster), Bratton DeLoach, and Priscilla Pomazal.
At Lobeco Branch: Branch Manager, Gina Molter and Children's Manager, Melinda Vest perform the bulk of the reference duties.
At St. Helena Branch: Maria Benac, new Branch Manager (who's phasing out being the Beaufort Branch Children's Manager) does most of the adult reference duties.

Also seen serving at the Adult Reference desks throughout the BCL system are: Dennis Adams, Information Services Coordinator and Wendy Allen, Youth Services Coordinator; branch managers, Ann Rosen and Mary Jo Berkes; and the children's service managers, Jean Morgan and Scott Strawn.

Please give our always hard-working Reference Librarians the chance to show you just how good they are at their jobs while the BDC staff is working extra hard to make the relocation of the materials in the Research Room a resounding success. I think that you'll be surprised by the competency, friendliness, and uniqueness of each Reference librarian employed by Beaufort County Library.

About the Author

Grace Cordial has been responsible for the day-to-day operation of the Beaufort District Collection at the Beaufort County Library since 1999.  The Beaufort District Collection exists to acquire, preserve, maintain and make accessible a research collection of permanent value which records the history, culture, and environment of our part of the South Carolina lowcountry.  Besides the research room, Cordial manages the “Virtual BDC:” the BDC web pages, the Online Obituary Index, two digital collections, a new BDC.BCL Facebook page, and the Connections blog.  
Among her duties is to coordinate or present programs about local history, Gullah culture, and our coastal environment, including occasional instructional sessions about how to perform historical and/or genealogical research.