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

Reference Question of the Week – 8/1/10

   August 7th, 2010 Brian Herzog

It's been a busy week - lots of people on vacation, so we're both short-staffed and busier than usual - and often I've been rushing from one patron to the next without much of a break in between. However, this patron's question stopped me short:

Patron: Can you show me where to put my UTI?

I was almost convinced she couldn't possibly mean a "urinary tract infection," but she immediately turned around and walked off toward the public computers - curiosity (and customer service) got the better of me, so I followed her over.

When we got back to her computer, she pointed at the screen and said,

See, there's no place for me to type in my web address UTI.

Okay - she meant URL (thank goodness). It's an easy fix to turn back on the Navigation Toolbar in Firefox:

Firefox Toolbar menus

While doing that, I said something like, "there, now you can type your URL in the box." When she heard me say "URL," she replied,

Oh, that's it, URL. I knew what I said didn't sound right.

No, it did not.

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