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

Reference Question of the Week – 10/14/12

   October 20th, 2012 Brian Herzog

Official Green Hornet Agent badgeThis was the entirety of a call that came in Wednesday afternoon this week:

[ring ring]
Me: Reference desk, can I help you?
Patron: Yeah can can...can you tell me what...what's on green tonight Green Lantern...Lantern...I mean Green...you know...the other one...Green Lantern...Green...Arrow...Arrow Green...Green Arrow yeah Green Arrow no... Lantern Green...Green...um...it's not Green Lantern, it's not Green Arrow...um...HORNET Green Hornet can you tell me what's on Green Hornet tonight oh wait it's Wednesday nevermind [click]

We have a patron who frequently calls to find out which episodes of his shows are going to be on that day. He usually ends up watching them all anyway, regardless of the episode, but he just wants to know in advance.

In this case, I think he had just woken up from a nap, and only eventually realized his show wasn't on that night.

In general, my favorite "what's on TV" resource is Zap2It.com, because it usually provides better descriptions of "local programming" than TVGuide.com. Although for some of this patron's shows, we have to go right to the MeTV Channel's website for schedule and descriptions.

This patron calls with this question so much that I've bookmarked both of these websites at all the reference computers. It kind of makes me laugh that we have ready reference resources devoted to just one patron, but it certainly is worth it.

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Reference Question of the Week – 2/20/11

   February 26th, 2011 Brian Herzog

Jerry SpringerTen minutes to eleven one morning, a patrons comes to the desk in a little bit of a panic. He asks,

Can you look up to see what's on Jerry Springer today? It starts at eleven.

On our entertainment subject guide page, we have a link to the Boston Globe's television listings. I scrolled to find Jerry Springer and read the show description to him:

Jerry Springer
Episode: I'm Leaving My Wife for a Tranny (NEW)

A man wants to leave his wife for a transsexual; a woman reveals a secret; a man worries his one-night stand could end his marriage.

When I finished, the patron said, "whew, nothing that I'm interested in" and went back to his computer.

But wait, there's more!

About 11:45 the phone rang, and it was this patron - I didn't see him leave, but apparently he went home to watch the show anyway. He was calling to ask what Jerry Springer's phone number was to get tickets, because they said it too fast on the show and he couldn't write it down.

In the course of looking for that, I found a listing of other Jerry Springer phone numbers - one for each of the show's areas of specialty. Now that was enlightening.

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Reference Question of the Week – 4/4/10

   April 10th, 2010 Brian Herzog

CastleI haven't done a good, old fashioned, "look it up on the internet" type reference question in awhile, so this was kind of fun. A patron asked,

What was the name of the song they played at the end of Castle this week?

I actually like Castle*, but hadn't seen the episode yet because I watch it online instead of on television. So, the first step was to get the name of the episode by looking up Castle on Hulu.com ("Wrapped up in Death" aired on 4/5).

Next we searched the internet for "Wrapped up in Death" castle song to see if anyone else was talking about this song. One of the results, heardontv.com, was exactly what we needed - it even described the scene when the song was played. According to that website, the song was "Love Is Endless" by Mozella.

The final step was to search for this song on YouTube just to make sure it was the right one. It was, so the patron was happy.

A video of the song is below, but I warn you: it's catchy, and will likely get stuck in your head. I noticed the patron was humming it when he left twenty minutes later.


*And it humors me to no end that my library actually shelves Richard Castle books.

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MacGyver Movie In The Works?

   May 6th, 2008 Brian Herzog

MacGyver television logoThis isn't library-related, but he was one of my childhood heros, such just bear with me.

Slashdot is reporting there might be a MacGyver movie. Of course, it was MacGyver who started me down the Swiss Army Knife path, and I'd wager he was one of the most influential people on boys growing up in the 80's.

The movie seems just in the rumor stage right now, so who knows. In the meantime, we can all take advantage of CBS providing MacGyver episodes free in their website archive.

Also, enjoy some MacGyver-related products:

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