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

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Reference Question of the Week – 9/14/14

   Posted on Sunday, September 21st, 2014 in Library, Reference Question | No Comments »

This ended up being one of those very rare reference questions where initially it seems like a million-to-one shot, and ends up very casually being that one in a million. This email request came to the reference desk: Submitted via Chelmsford Library Reference Question. Comments: Allan Daniel Clark, from (born\in North Clemsford, MA Born june […]


Libraries Holding Privacy Literacy Workshops for Patrons

   Posted on Thursday, September 18th, 2014 in Library, Programs | No Comments »

You may have seen this, but it bears cross-posting: Librarians in Massachusetts are working to give their patrons a chance to opt-out of pervasive surveillance. Partnering with the ACLU of Massachusetts, area librarians have been teaching and taking workshops on how freedom of speech and the right to privacy are compromised by the surveillance of […]


Reference Question of the Week – 9/7/14

   Posted on Saturday, September 13th, 2014 in Books, Library, Reference Question | 4 Comments »

This whole interaction made me laugh, but I have to call Spoiler Alert for anyone who hasn’t read Be careful what you wish for by Jeffrey Archer – because this question does reveal the ending (I think). A patron called in on a cell phone (with driving noises in the background) asking if there’s a […]


Another Great Feature for a Library App

   Posted on Wednesday, September 10th, 2014 in Library, Technology | 7 Comments »

At the risk of this blog becoming a list of things only interesting to me, here’s another cool new-to-me app I just recently learned about. It’s called Mr. Silent, and it lets you auto-mute your phone based on time, location, or contact. It seems like a fairly obvious idea, but apparently this one works better […]


Reference Question of the Week – 8/31/14

   Posted on Saturday, September 6th, 2014 in Library, Random, Reference Question | 1 Comment »

Earlier this week, a coworker at our circulation desk sent me this message: A patron came to the desk last night and asked where the last 6 months of Skeptical Inquirer were. He said they’re never there except the new one. Did we have a blip in circulation? It turns out that this is a […]


Where The Good Stuff Lives

   Posted on Thursday, September 4th, 2014 in Library, Resources | 5 Comments »

I just got back from an extra-long Labor Day weekend, which of course means my desk had accumulated a variety of items in my absence. Most are fairly routine to deal with, but a few – namely, donations from patrons – sometimes require special tactics. For regular donations (like books and DVDs), we either add […]