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

Great Video to Help Raise Money for a Library

   March 26th, 2012 Brian Herzog

Just a quick post to share this great video, in case you haven't seen it already: the M. N. Spear Library in the Western Massachusetts town of Shutesbury put it together to help raise money for a new building.

[video link]

Whether or not you donate is up to you, but I thought this was an excellent example of a library being creative with new media: the video is great, they're encouraging sharing it, they involved their patrons, and it's fun.

Update 3/27/12:
Speaking of great library videos, I hope you've seen this one too:

[video link]

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The Librarian Song on The Red Green Show

   February 29th, 2012 Brian Herzog

I can't believe I forgot about this song - the Red Green Show is one of my all-time favorites.

[video link]

Happy Leap Day, everyone.

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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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Reference Question of the Week – 6/29/08

   July 5th, 2008 Brian Herzog

Number One BirthdayI really like answering reference questions using print resources. But I also get just as much satisfaction answering a question using a tool I read about on someone's blog.

In honor of the Fourth of July this year, a patron was doing off-beat research into things that have happened on July 4ths past, to develop a trivia game for his cookout.

I knew of plenty of "in this day in history" type resources, but he had already found a lot of that kind of information. Happily, I remembered reading a library's blog post mentioning a website listing #1 songs for a given day in history.

With just two clicks, we had a list of the Billboard #1 song for July 4th for the past 100+ years. The patron was very happy with this, and proceeded to our CD collection to get as many July 4th #1 songs as he could to use as music for his party. It's rare to see a patron walk away giddy, but this was one of those times.

This website will also be handy with a annual cub scout project. To earn one of their merit badges, the scouts have to find out what happened on the day they were born. Not that knowing the #1 song will make them better scouts, but it does add a fun new dimension to the project.

Also, I would like to point out that in my birth year of 1974, the #1 song was "Rock the Boat" by The Hues Corporation. That's a good song title for a holiday celebrating revolution and independence (even if that's not what the song's about).

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