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

Search Results for

Take-Home Tech Support, or, Why Second Thoughts Are Important

   Posted on Wednesday, October 29th, 2014 in Library, Service, Technology | 3 Comments »

Last week, a patron came in and asked for help using the scanner. No problem. But while I was helping her, she explained that she has an all-in-one copier/printer/scanner that used to work great but is now giving her trouble, hence the trip to the library. She tried describing to me what the problem was, […]


Reference Question of the Week – 10/19/14

   Posted on Saturday, October 25th, 2014 in Library, Reference Question | No Comments »

This reference question isn’t difficult or new (I talked about something similar back in 2007), but I still love this idea so I thought I’d share it. A patron called and asked if I could search for a book for her by ISBN. When the search brought back no results, she said “well I’m getting […]


Check Out This Telescope!

   Posted on Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 in Library, Resources | 1 Comment »

I totally dropped the ball and am late in posting this. However, my library was featured in the October issue of Sky & Telescope magazine! The article focused on a practical program for circulating telescopes from a public library. Thanks to the generous donation from local astronomy buffs, we’ve been circulating two telescopes for about […]


Reference Question of the Week – 10/12/14

   Posted on Saturday, October 18th, 2014 in Library, Reference Question | 9 Comments »

So this is an interesting question – and a situation where I got schooled in applying Occam’s razor to research techniques. A friend of mine at work had an unusual coin, and we wanted to find out what it was. It didn’t have any English lettering on it, and no Arabic numbers, although it clearly […]


Why Your Privacy Matters, Even If You’re Not “Doing Anything Wrong”

   Posted on Wednesday, October 15th, 2014 in Technology | Comments Off

One of the anti-privacy arguments that I hate – hate – is the idea that people who are not doing anything wrong shouldn’t mind pervasive surveillance. The video below is Glenn Greenwald’s TED talk on why that is complete crap, and on the larger issue of why privacy is vital to normal human life. It’s […]


Reference Question of the Week – 10/5/14

   Posted on Saturday, October 11th, 2014 in Library, Reference Question | 2 Comments »

One Saturday I was working at the desk with a coworker. She answered the phone, and it was a patron asking for a print of Winslow Homer’s “Fishing the Falls.” He said it’s not one of his public works, and is in a private collection, and that’s why he can’t find any information about it […]