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

Reference Question of the Week – 10/25/09

   October 31st, 2009 Brian Herzog

ElviraThis question actually made my week. With no warning, a flustered patron rushes up to the desk:

Hi. What's Elvira doing now? Is she dead?

The control I have over my laugh-response sometimes astounds me.

I really had no idea, and neither of us knew her real name, so the first stop was an Internet Movie Database search for Elvira. There we learned her real name is Cassandra Peterson, which I then looked up on WhosAliveAndWhosDead.com to see if she was still alive. Happily, she is.

To find out what she's doing now, I started with a general Google search for elvira 2009, which, among other interesting websites, led to Elvira.com - What's New?. Not surprisingly, she's a busy woman this time of year - multiple appearances in New Jersey this weekend, as well as being a special guest on this week's Medium.

The patron was hoping she was hosting (hostessing?) some kind of spooky movie marathon this weekend, but I couldn't find anything. He asked how far away New Jersey was, and after I told him, he said he doesn't have a car and would have to walk, so he's not going to go. He just wanted to know.

But his parting words were positive:

At least she's not dead, so maybe she'll show some movies next year.

Hope springs eternal. Happy Halloween.

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