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Reference Question of the Week – 10/11/09

   October 17th, 2009

Instead of a reference question this week, here's a good example of another question-of-the-week service:

The Seattle Public Library has a regular feature on the website of a local paper, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. It's titled Shelf Talk, and in addition to general library content, it also features interesting reference questions (and their answers).

I think it's a great idea for libraries to have regular columns in the paper, in addition to events listings. It's not only entertaining and informative, but also promotes the library's reference service, subtly reminding people they can get help with tough questions at the library. And not surprisingly, Seattle is doing an excellent job of it.

via LISNews

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3 Responses to “Reference Question of the Week – 10/11/09”

  1. Anne deFuria Says:

    This sounds like a fun idea and we do post funny/interesting reference questions on our blog, but don’t you think patrons might be annoyed to see their questions in the local paper and isn’t it almost crossing the confidentiality line? we worry about that, do you?

  2. Brian Herzog Says:

    My website is read almost exclusively by other librarians, and by very few people in the local area. But since the newspaper is intended for the local community, you’re right, a different set of guidelines needs to be in place. For my website, I always strip out anything that could tie the question back to a person. But if the library were going to do this, instead of just me, then yes, I would want to have a formal permission policy – but would still likely not identify the patron.

  3. Dan O'Hara's 768 Blog » Post #9: Brand Monitoring Report: Seattle Public Library Says:

    [...] system for three weeks.  I became aware of this library system from reading Brian Herzog’s blog post about the library system which has a blog on the website of a local paper, the Seattle [...]