I was still in my office at 5 one afternoon this past week when the reference phone rang. The librarians normally go home at 4, and I wasn't sure if I really wanted to answer it. But I knew I wanted to help whoever it was, so I did.
It was a legal assistant student in Florida who was looking for an obscure, old book and we were the only library she could find that had it. Even I couldn't find it in WorldCat until a co-worker showed me a new trick, and then it turns out only 13 libraries in the country still have it, most in Florida. We kept it because the author had something to do with our college at some point.
Anyway, she only needed one chapter, so I told her to contact her public library and see if they could send the request through the traditional ILL means, and if that didn't work, I gave her my e-mail address. The public library wasn't able to do it, so on Thursday I scanned the chapter and sent it to her.
She called and sent the following e-mail:
Mary-This is PERFECT!!!!!! I got it just fine and have already forwarded it along. You are such a dear!! I can't tell you how very much I appreciate this!!THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!!! YOU'RE NO. 1!!! Please let me know if/when I can return the favor!
She said that she was a middle-aged woman, which is probably why she was so dedicated to finding this one obscure book, and why she expressed her gratitude so profusely. You can bend over backwards for the traditional students, but they usually either don't care enough or are too over-committed to care as much about finding the resource or the effort people took to help them. I'm over-generalizing here and I love our students. But sometimes profuse gratitude from anyone is enough to make a librarian very grateful for that opportunity to help.