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The Gen Z Librarian Experience

Author details: Putri Wulan Anjeli Siregar started her career as a full-time librarian for almost 3 years since 2021 at the institution of higher education in Medan, North of Sumatera, Indonesia. For her, it is important to motivate the students about information literacy and to help the library users with the knowledge that she has.

Putri Wulan Anjeli Siregar

“In my foolhardy youth, when my friends were dreaming of heroic deeds in the realms of engineering and law, finance, and national politics, I dreamt of becoming a librarian”

(Alberto Manguel, The Library at Night)

I am doing a librarian job in information literacy and membership services, circulation services, reference services, and plagiarism checking.

In librarian activities in the information literacy services section, I created a form for questions from users regarding information literacy in the library. Most of them are looking for electronic reference sources, for example, databases or journal websites that are open access and whose scientific journal articles can be downloaded for free to complete their coursework and final assignments (as a graduation requirement). I will provide the form to be filled out by library users who ask questions and provide answers directly to them.

Examples of journal databases as electronic reference sources that I often recommend, apart from Google Scholar, are the Garuda portal (Garuda platform; a portal that contains Indonesian scientific references), Indonesia One Search (this portal provides access to national and international electronic resources subscribed to by the national library), as well as a journal website managed by the campus where I work.

Meanwhile, part of the membership service that I carry out is registering prospective library users with the library automation system that is commonly used, namely the Senayan Library Management System (SLiMS). Through this website-based system, library services can be operated digitally, starting from circulation services, processing library collections, inputting final assignments, calculating the number of library visitors, book borrowing history, lists of late book returns, membership lists, and others. However, notifications about delays in borrowing books do not automatically go to the registered library user's email, so I as a circulation librarian have to send an email by typing the contents of the email in the form of the book title, date of borrowing and duration of the delay in borrowing the book to each user's email address. active.

Borrowing a book from the circulation desk

Now, I mostly work at the circulation desk as well as the reference desk. Students who borrow and return books extend their book borrowing period or even receive fines for late return of library books must meet me at the circulation desk. Borrowed books will be scanned with a barcode so they can be borrowed by library users. Then, a book return date stamp is affixed to the book borrowing slip which is attached to the back cover page of the book.

Meanwhile, for reference services, library users can read books directly on the spot, but cannot borrow the books. This reference service collection includes law books, government regulation books, and general and special dictionaries in scientific fields such as general agricultural dictionaries, encyclopedias, and so on.

Scanning the barcode of a book

I often help students who have difficulty finding books they want to borrow or read because they don't understand the library classification system for finding these books. Therefore, I explained to them how to find it by giving instructions on looking for books in the library. Sometimes they still have difficulty finding it, so I help them find it directly on the shelf.

Finding a book on the shelf

Besides that, I also participated in promoting digital-based libraries after I took online training from the National Library. As the library's Instagram social media admin, my task is to post all the library activities that I have participated in and post new library book designs so that the library's Instagram followers know about them. I once made video reels checking plagiarism content on Instagram using a video editing application and reached 1238 viewers. Previously, the library's Instagram reel viewers never reached 1000 viewers.

a reel video in the library Instagram

In the middle of my busy life as a librarian, I actively participate in literacy activities from various event invitations outside the library where I work, for instance, writing literacy workshops for beginners and meeting famous writers who are often invited to television shows by the Indonesian National Library in 2022, book reviews of famous Indonesian millennial writers who have written 28 books in 2024, and being invited to workshops in Yogyakarta in 2024. February 2024 after being selected as the winner of the Excellent Writing Club in 2023 from a total of 120 people who took part in the writing competition.

Writing Workshop in Yogyakarta

However, during my early days working as a librarian, I also did other work, such as processing library materials, inputting final assignment data into the library repository, and preserving library materials. Plus, I have to do other work outside the library job desk, such as taking part in managing campus journals as a section editor whose job is to organize and be responsible for articles that have been edited by the editor and edited by the reviewers and also in charge of organizing grammar and editing sentences so that they can be understood by readers, checking for possible errors, and ensuring that the article is in accordance with the style of the journal in question.

However, the most mandatory and energy-consuming job that I do almost every day is shelving library books. I often encounter library users, when they have taken a book from the shelf, they turn the back of the book onto the shelf instead of out of the shelf as a proper movement of books should be done, then they also rarely put the book that has been taken from the shelf into the book basket that is available nearby. bookshelf. I have also seen them hide their final assignments on a shelf because they don't want the final assignments to be taken by someone else, causing the order of their collection in the cupboard to become messy.

Conservation of library books

I repair every book that has damaged parts, such as the cover is torn, the pages are torn, and the cover has fallen off because the adhesive has run out. Therefore, I do what is called library science, namely the conservation of library materials (physical repair of books). Books to be conserved are repaired using simple tools, such as fox glue, duct tape, scissors, cutter, and plastic book covers. Once finished, the books are shelved back onto the library bookshelf.

Shelving a book

That is a series of my duties as a Gen Z Librarian who also has a passion for writing and tries to provide useful knowledge to library users. I am also currently compiling an information literacy guidebook for university students so that I have a guide in guiding readers to find manual and electronic reference sources efficiently.


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