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

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Reference Question of the Week – 12/28/14

   Posted on Saturday, January 3rd, 2015 in Uncategorized | No Comments »

Since I’ve been off so much over the holidays, I haven’t got a question for the week. However, in keeping with the general New Year’s theme of time passing, here’s something great the New York Public Library has been doing – posting photos of old reference questions on Instagram: They’re also using the #letmelibrarianthatforyou hashtag […]


What’s Your Take on Driving-Tests.org?

   Posted on Wednesday, December 17th, 2014 in Library, Resources, Technology | 6 Comments »

Here’s something I really curious to learn more about: I’ve seen a lot of talk lately about driving-tests.org. It’s a website that offers free test prep for driver license exams, but what I keep hearing about is their library version. I think that version is the same as the free one, except it has no […]


Reference Question of the Week – 12/7/14

   Posted on Saturday, December 13th, 2014 in Library, Reference Question | 7 Comments »

This one took me by surprise. A patron called in and ask if she could request some books. No problem. And usually when a patron tells me right off that they’ll be requesting multiple books, I’ll grab a pencil and paper to write titles down and look for after we hang up. If they’re requesting […]


Pondering a Potential Paper Cutter Policy

   Posted on Thursday, December 11th, 2014 in Library, Service | 15 Comments »

So this came up recently in my library: should we allow patrons to use the staff paper cutter? We have a few of them in the library, including one in the Reference Office. Staff use it all the time, and occasionally a patron asks to use it. Initially I felt this was one of those, […]


Reference Question of the Week – 11/30/14

   Posted on Saturday, December 6th, 2014 in Library, Reference Question, Technology | 10 Comments »

This is a hard question to relay. What you’re reading below isn’t necessarily what the patron asked, it’s just my understanding of what the patron asked – and I’m really not sure I ever understood correctly just what he was trying to do. A patron came to the desk and said he had a pair […]


Reference Question of the Week – 11/16/14

   Posted on Saturday, November 22nd, 2014 in Library, Reference Question | 6 Comments »

This question definitely took me by surprised and I don’t think I did a great job of answering it. A patron, who I would guess was in her sixties, walks up to the desk and says, Do you have a book to tell you what to do in case of an emergency? I’ve been taking […]