or, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Fear and Loathing at a Public Library Reference Desk



Reference Question of the Week – 3/11

   March 17th, 2007

This isn't even a real reference question. It kind of falls under the "are you kidding me?" category, but it made me laugh.

So, a patron walks up to the desk and says, "I'm really hoping you can help me find something." It had been a busy day, so I immediately start thinking about books, dvds, database articles, websites, etc.

And then the patron says this: "Where I work, people have little dishes of candy and mints on their desks. I'm tutoring a student in five minutes, and my breath smells bad. Since this is where you work, I was hoping you or someone else had mints on their desk that you could go find for me."

I'm generally always happy to help someone, but this was a little bit over the top. But of course, many people in the library do have candy, mints, pretzels, brownies, cookies, coffee pots, etc., at their desk, so I really didn't need to go very far to find something for her. And she even said thank you.

breath mints, candy, libraries, library, mints, public libraries, public library, reference question




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3 Responses to “Reference Question of the Week – 3/11”

  1. The Beautiful Kind Says:

    Dang, she tutors, cares about good breath AND has nice manners. Sounds like the perfect patron to me!

  2. herzogbr Says:

    Yes, she is – I was just surprised at what some people expect reference librarians to be able to find for them. Something like this isn’t traditional reference, but wasn’t too bad. I was asked recently by a patron if I could find a nice restaurant in Miami and make dinner reservations for him. I have to draw the line somewhere.

  3. Volvomom Says:

    I really hope you found something old that I left behind in my drawer. Muwahahahahha! :)