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  • Writer's pictureMaria-Elena Cigarroa

Middle School Yearbooks, Old Newspapers, and Welcoming Visitors! Friday, March 10th (12:30-5:30)

I started my shift today by meeting with the Austin History Center Director Danielle’ McGhee. This is the last of my “orientation” meetings that I’ve had with every staff member of the AHC.

I learned about Danielle’s background, she learned about mine, and we talked about the upcoming changes with the ongoing renovation of the Austin History Center. After the meeting was over, I headed over to the reading room for my reference desk shift. When I started, there was one person in the reading room looking at the biographical files we have for LBJ.

Then a patron came in wanting to research 1980 issues of the Austin Chronicle. I had him fill out a call slip and Molly helped pull the issues from the periodical room. Another patron came in asking to look at the Kealing Middle School yearbooks from the 1950s. He was looking for pictures of his family members for an upcoming family reunion and he happily showed me some pictures of his cousin. A student from the University of Texas came in and asked for help researching the Austin folk music scene. I showed her our guide to Austin music resources and taught her how to research our vertical file collection. She was able to find several resources that she could use for her paper. While the patrons were quietly working, I managed to answer a reference email from someone asking whether he have photos of a building he recently purchased; I researched it and then emailed him that, although we didn’t have pictures, we do have the architectural plans for a 1960 renovation of the building.

Normally I have a few hours after my reference desk shift is over to work on other things. Today, however, I was asked to help cover the welcome desk shift because the AHC was short-staffed. While there, I welcomed our patrons, had them sign in, and explained our reading room policies and procedures. Because we’re an archives, people have to put their bags in lockers and are only allowed to use their laptops, phones, three sheets of paper, and a pencil!

Maria-Elena Cigarroa

Supervisor: Jennifer Hecker

General Schedule: Sundays (11-6); Thursdays (2:00-6:00); Fridays (12:30-5:30)

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