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

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Reference Question of the Week – 9/28/14

   Posted on Saturday, October 4th, 2014 in Library, Reference Question | 2 Comments »

While I was talking to a patron, the phone rang and my coworker answered it. She listened for a little while, said “Yes, I think so,” and then hung up. Any time that happens, you know it’s going to be a story. She turned to me afterward and said the patron just asked her, Is […]


Creating Better Passwords By Knowing How They’re Cracked

   Posted on Wednesday, October 1st, 2014 in Library, Technology | Comments Off

This weekend on Twitter, @itsokayihaveabook linked to a great article on the current thinking for choosing a secure password. I don’t keep up with this stuff all the time, but every so often I will check in to see what the developments are. If you only read one password security article this year, this is […]


Reference Question of the Week – 9/21/14

   Posted on Saturday, September 27th, 2014 in Library, Reference Question | 5 Comments »

This week’s question is a two-fold cautionary tale: first, it illustrates the importance of annunciation enunciation, and second the importance of the reference interview. What I thought I heard initially was certainly not what this patron actually wanted. A male patron calls the desk and says, One of my wives’ books is overdue – can […]


Job Opportunity: MVLC Assistant Executive Director

   Posted on Wednesday, September 24th, 2014 in Library | 1 Comment »

My library is a part of the Merrimack Valley Library Consortium, and the consortium is looking for a new Assistant Executive Director. It’s a great job – details below and on the state library jobs website. Duties/Description: The Assistant Executive Director has a unique opportunity to effect a positive change on the consortiums user support […]


Reference Question of the Week – 9/14/14

   Posted on Sunday, September 21st, 2014 in Library, Reference Question | Comments Off

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 | Comments Off

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 […]