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

Reference Question of the Week – 12/17

   December 23rd, 2006

Garrison Kiellor ReadingThis was a relatively quick reference question, but for some reason it struck me as funny. A patron walks up to the desk and says:

I'm looking for the poem that Gary Kelly read on the radio this morning. It was about Christmas, but not the buy-y Christmas - it was about the opposite kind of Christmas.

"The opposite kind of Christmas" alone was kind of funny, but "Gary Kelly" made me laugh, too. For whatever reason - perhaps the initials "G. K." and the word "radio" - I knew she was actually talking about Garrison Kiellor's radio program, The Writer's Almanac.

I didn't know the web address, but a quick Google search for "The Writer's Almanac" found the url, and right on its homepage was the full text of the poem.

She was very happy to read it, but also wanted a copy. So, I did an author search in our catalog for John Betjeman, and found that his Collected Poems was owned by another consortium library. I requested it for the patron, and she went away smiling and happy, while visions of the opposite kind of sugar plums danced in her head.

garrison kiellor, john Betjeman, libraries, library, poem, poems, poetry, reference question, the writer's almanac

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