New program helps patrons better understand Carmel library services


By Joseph Knoop



The Carmel Clay Public Library has begun a new program to help patrons make better use of the library’s services.

The “Book a Librarian” program aims to provide one-on-one sessions between any library patron and one staff member. The session (30 minutes to one hour) allows the librarian to assist a patron more directly than what would be possible while standing at a reference desk with any library service they may not yet understand.

Topics covered include, but are not limited to: Creating a personalized reading list, use of the library’s card catalog system, introductory computer and internet skills, library tours, help downloading eBooks and other digital materials and business research.

“A lot of people don’t realize how they can use a librarian,” Library Communications Manager Beth Jenneman said. “We want people to know that our librarians are here for a variety of things. This is for those looking to get an introductory lesson, but for things that might need more time than a quick question at a reference counter.”

Jenneman added that a large focus for the program is for outreach to business community leaders who might benefit from basic research tools.

“[Business leaders] ask questions like, ‘How do I reach my demographic? What is my demographic?’” Jenneman said. “They can come in and receive training on how to use reference databases like Reference USA. I don’t know if the business community really thinks of the library as that kind of resource.”

While subjects covered in Book a Librarian aren’t limited to topics mentioned above, the program does draw a line with some. Librarians cannot offer advice outside of recommending reputable sources of information, assist with computer troubleshooting, help with credit card transactions, or type, edit or proofread documents.

For more, or to book a free appointment, go to, click “Research,” then click “Book a Librarian.” Patrons can also contact Carmel Clay Public Library at 814-3985 or stop by the reference desk.

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