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



Reference Question of the Week – 4/15/12

   April 21st, 2012

Virtual catOne evening this week, a patron walked up to the desk and said,

Can you find me a website to adopt a cat? But not a real cat.

What he wanted was an online virtual pet. I had never looked for this before, but a search for adopt a cyber cat returned lots of results.

We looked at a few sites*, but he ultimately chose adoptme.com, because it had the best graphics. For the next forty-five minutes, he sat at the computer playing and chatting with it, and every once in awhile he'd come up to the desk to tell us something the cat did or said.

But the last time was the funniest: he came up and said, "the cat said I talk too much." Maybe he exhausted the repertoire of the artificial intelligence of the program that responds to chat messages, and that was how the program forced the conversation to end.

He wasn't deterred though - he left, saying he couldn't wait to come back the next day to play with the cat some more.

 


*One that didn't make the cut, but made me laugh, was virtualkitty.com. Their Create an Account screen included this field:

Pick an Emergency Web Address (URL):
(You will be sent to this address if you click the special emergency button while playing with your cat. We recommend your company website, or something business related, in case you need it to look like you are working on something else.)




Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,


One Response to “Reference Question of the Week – 4/15/12”

  1. iGoogling « Information Builder Says:

    […] one for “Library Stuff” which is mostly feeds from a variety of library blogs, (Swiss Army Librarian is my favourite, particularly the Reference Question of the Week). While the feeds aren’t […]