Friday, 24 July 2009

"Tell me what you are looking for."

'Red Books' by vlashtonAny librarian having spent more than a month or so at a reference desk in a public library (or any library really) has had to deal with questions with too little information to really answer. published a short piece with an excellent real example of such a transaction. Here's a taste:
Librarian: ...Would you have any idea the name of the author?
Caller: No. Oh, wait a minute, wait a minute. The lady's name is... oh, I can't read her writing. It's impossible. Um... My wife said the cover of the book is a really neat picture.
The hope is always for either an eventual (sometimes accidental) break-through, such as the one in the example article from seattlepi, or to show that you can help them but that they may have to take some time to come up with another detail or two before the item can be found.

[ From Hello, Reference Desk? at ]

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