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

Reference Question of the Week – 12/13/09

   December 19th, 2009

Customer Service ComicSince it's the season for goodwill towards men and all that, here are some exchanges that are the exact opposite. Boing Boing linked to a bookstore's website that posts funny conversations he has with his customers.

Hey, bookstores get reference questions, too. What I thought was funny was how many times a library was mentioned - and how he referred the really hopeless people to us:

[a customer calls the store and asks...]
How can you tell if a book is old?
Age is a state of mind.
OK. But what makes a book old?
It's relative kind of thing.
OK. But, hum, how do you know if it is old?
Try looking at the date.
Where's that?
Usually on the copyright page.
Where's that?
At the library.
OK, thanks.

Yeah, yeah, we have that page - it's on the same shelf as Sherlock Holmes' biography, our photographs of Socrates, and our primary sources on dinosaurs. Lots more healthy cynicism on the bookstore's website.

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One Response to “Reference Question of the Week – 12/13/09”

  1. mmbb Says:

    bernard black would have hung up after the second question.