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March 12, 2009 5:46 PM   Subscribe

What questions do library users most often ask?

I'm not asking about the library's FAQs (many library websites have them), but about your experience with actual questions, from both sides of the desk. Lest this be chatfilter, I'm getting an MLS and I'm trying to figure out how my future customers think.
posted by bad grammar to Education (55 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
 
"Where is the bathroom?"
posted by Violet Hour at 5:49 PM on March 12, 2009 [5 favorites]


I'm not being sarcastic, but "Where's the bathroom?"

Also, you probably should clarify what type of library you're asking about. It sounds like public?
posted by cestmoi15 at 5:50 PM on March 12, 2009


"Do you have internet here?"
posted by malpractice at 5:54 PM on March 12, 2009


Bathroom?
posted by Science! at 5:55 PM on March 12, 2009


where is the bathroom
do you have a stapler
can I leave my stuff here with you

and
How do I find this book on my reading list
I tried to find this book on the shelf, but couldn't find it
Can you help me find stuff for my assignment that's only online so I don't have to use the library

All from my actual experience.
posted by wingless_angel at 6:01 PM on March 12, 2009


What kind of library? I work in an academic library, and I actually get a wide variety of questions, from "This book isn't on the shelf?" (it probably is, or actually maybe it's not: our catalog is sneaky like that) to "Why can't I get this online?" (because we only have that volume in print, welcome to the year 2000) to "I'm trying to find meta-analyses for a PICO project about when women are given oxytocin then they experience less satisfaction with the labor/birth" (probably not enough studies on that for a meta-analysis, maybe shift your topic a little). A lot of questions about understanding the catalog, about where stuff is, about the difference between a library catalog and a database, about which database to use, about how to limit to certain kinds of publications, about printing/photocopying. Etc.
posted by unknowncommand at 6:02 PM on March 12, 2009


"Where's the toilet?"

"Do you have [brand-new blockbuster film on DVD]?"

"What do you mean, somebody's already borrowed it?"

"Isn't this a library? Where are all the books?"

"Can you just watch my kid for a couple of hours?"

"Do you have any cake pans?"
posted by turgid dahlia at 6:02 PM on March 12, 2009


- "Why can't I use my cell phone?" Both of the "how dare you tell me when I can't use my property" and "i'm talking at a perfectly acceptable volume and those people over there are yelling and screaming but I haven't seen anyone talk to them yet!" variety.

- How do I find/Where is/Do you haveX?
posted by theichibun at 6:04 PM on March 12, 2009


Not a question, but according to a librarian friend what he hears most often from patrons is "the Internet machine is out of paper."
posted by The corpse in the library at 6:04 PM on March 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


- bathroom?
- what time is it?
- where can I check my email?
- do you have wifi?
- can I check this out? [at the reference desk]
- where is [$location]?
- when are you open?
- why isn't [technological thing] working as expected?

Thats what I remember from working at a largeish [30,000 people] public library. I work at a teeny [900 people] public library and we get asked a lot more local stuff and anyone who shows up there likely knows where the bathroom is. For example...

- Do you know when Bone Builders is meeting?
- How did town meeting go? Where can I get a town report?
- Why can't I do [technological thing] on these computers?
- When is [$scheduled_thing] happening at the library?

When I worked at an academic library it was a lot like unknowncommand says. Trouble finding items, trouble figuring out how to make the catalog do your bidding, knowing what exactly the databases were and how to use them to get to a real article, questions about checkout periods for reserved items.

And I'm not sure if I can say this without sounding snarky so if so I apologize, but I personally feel that thinking of the patron as a "customer" is the wrong way of looking at library service to all but people in special libraries. It's a big derail though so feel free to email me if you want to chat more about it. Good luck with your studies.
posted by jessamyn at 6:08 PM on March 12, 2009


I don't know if this information is relevant, but I would think any text or study of this from more than five or ten years ago will be from a different reality: I think the ready availability of the internet (and especially search engines) has likely changed how clients use libraries. Twenty years ago I would ask librarians questions about Mt Kilimanjaro or currency inflation or political officeholders that I now just ask Google.

I am not a librarian of course. But as a client, the questions I ask tend to be more to do with the physical layout: "Where do I find the 690's?" "What floor are periodicals on?" and yes, "Where's the bathroom?"
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:09 PM on March 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


From the periodicals desk:
- How do I/I can't log onto the computer?
- How do I print?
- Where is [section] (700's mostly in this lib)
- Can I use your stapler/hole punch/tape/etc.?

And then I help the entirety of the local HS's freshmen with their microform/database project.
posted by carsonb at 6:19 PM on March 12, 2009


Public librarian here:

How do I print?
Where are the DVDs?
Do you have book X?
Can I get on the internet?
(During tax season) Do you have tax forms?
Where are your books on subject X?
Do you have anything by author/singer/band X?
Where is your copier/fax/scanner/bathroom? (we only have half of these things)
Can you give me directions to this address?
Is my book here yet?

I also do virtual reference, which is very different than in-person reference. Most of the online questions are either really tough questions that they have had no luck getting answers to anywhere else, an entire class getting online at once with really difficult assignment questions (and no warning from the teacher), or pranks.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 6:31 PM on March 12, 2009


For a humorous take on this topic try Dispatches from a Public Librarian, over at McSweeney's.
posted by Rinku at 6:33 PM on March 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm not being sarcastic, but "Where's the bathroom?"

Seconded. Seriously most questions are like this.
posted by Ironmouth at 6:36 PM on March 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Also a public librarian:

Where can I pick up my hold?
Do you have/Where can I get a bus schedule?
Where can I find books on CD?
Definitely get bathrooms? DVDs? time? and why is the computer not working? on a daily basis
posted by tinywhiteflowers at 6:45 PM on March 12, 2009


I'm at the front desk at an academic library. The number one question is probably "How do I print?" (we have a card system). Others include:
Can I use a computer?
Do you have a stapler?
How late are you open?
How do I get an ID?
I need a book for x class.
Can I use some headphones?
posted by CoralAmber at 6:49 PM on March 12, 2009


I am thinking of a public or academic library (main library). At a special library, such as a law firm's, the questions might be more focused. As for "customer" vs. "patron" or "user," I'm referring to people in general and not implying that a public or university library should be like Barnes & Noble ("Where's the coffee shop?")
posted by bad grammar at 6:54 PM on March 12, 2009


I spend 30+ hours a week in a large research library, though I'm a patron rather than a employee. The questions I typically ask are procedural or very specific. How does such and such system work under this set of circumstances? What are the library's general holdings on this-or-this topic? Why isn't this resource listed as lost so I can interlibrary loan it when it's obviously not on the shelf and the type of book that is often stolen (i.e. controversial, popular, or both)? Another favorite is can you please renew all 90 of these items at once, or do I have to do it myself? Sometimes I have to do little fact finding routines of questions when I come up against an antiquated policy or computer system limitation that keeps me from doing my work. That way I can be very specific when I fire off that polite memo to the dean and director of operations.
posted by mrmojoflying at 6:59 PM on March 12, 2009


Today, from memory:
What's my email password?
How do I apply for a job online?
How am I supposed to apply for a job when I don't have an email address?
How do I fill out the web form to get a free email address?
Do you have any nonfiction books about polar bears?
Where can I find an article from the March 2007 issue of Harvard Business Review. I don't remember the title or what it's about.
Does the library have wi-fi?
Why won't my resume print?
Do you have a DVD about the Iditarod?
Do you have computer classes?
Can you get me an interlibrary loan item by tomorrow?
Do you have tax forms?
Do you have state tax forms?
Which tax form do I need?
posted by willpie at 7:00 PM on March 12, 2009


From the circ desk at a public library:

What time is it?
Where are the tax forms?
Do you have a fax machine?
Where can I sign up for a library card?
Do you have internet computers?
Where is the [insert name of group] meeting?
Do you have [insert title of DVD]?
Can I leave this here while I run to the bathroom?
Can I use the phone?
How many DVDs can I check out?
Do you have a mail box?
Is this where I pick up a hold?
Do you take donations?
How late are you open?
Do you carry [X] magazine?
Where are your books?

Now that I've written all these down, the knowledge management class I'm taking for my MLIS seems to be overkill. ;)
posted by jenny76 at 7:06 PM on March 12, 2009


I worked telephone reference at a public library this fall, so didn't have the "where's the bathroom"/"how to use the computer" questions. The most common questions were related to voting and voter registration (the library was both a voter registration and early voting location. Most frequent question: "How long is the line?"). Non-election-related questions, the most common were "I need to renew this book/put a hold on this book." Actual reference questions - pretty much nada.
posted by Daily Alice at 7:10 PM on March 12, 2009


Academic library:

Where can I find this title?
- Is it a book?
No, it's an article.
- Do you have the name of the journal?
No, what's a journal?
posted by waterandrock at 7:11 PM on March 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


The big questions at my library are:

"Do you have Wi-Fi?"
"Can I use your stapler?" (accompanied by a hand motion mimicking a stapler)
"Where's your bathroom?"
"Can you help me find this DVD?"
"Do you have a fax machine?"

/So much for my dreams of being a "professional"
posted by oozy rat in a sanitary zoo at 7:27 PM on March 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


I work at a public library even smaller than Jessamyn's that doubles as a library for the K-12 school. People mostly know where the bathrooms are, but they often ask if we have the Worland paper from last Tuesday, because their kid was in it (we do, and yes, they can have it). In the summer, we get a lot of tourists asking if we have an internet computer they can use (yes). Kids--and this was true at the much larger public library where I worked before--invariably want "a book" about something very specific. "Where are your horny toad books? Where are your Taylor Swift books?" "I want that Power Rangers book I had last week!"

I'd also just like to mention that despite the incredible repetitiveness of this thread and its seeming mundaneness, being a librarian actually rocks. You have all these people who come in and who have had frustrating experiences with the post office or Target customer service or the town council or whatever, and you get to help them make copies and find books they want, and when you do so nicely, they are so happy. It requires an incredible amount of patience, but the rewards, I think, are worth it.
posted by newrambler at 7:35 PM on March 12, 2009


academic library at a small liberal arts college:

"I need x book. Do you have it?"
"How do I find out if you have x book?"
"I found this book in the catalog. Where is it located?"
"Do you have x office supply?"
"Can you help me with the copier?"


"I need video/book/article for my class."
-Is it on reserve?
"I don't know."
-What is the title?
"I"m not sure."
-Who is the professor? ... and so on

Working out in the open at the circ desk I've found that the students I've helped in the past will make a beeline for my desk bypassing the student assistants and the reference librarian. Same with faculty.
posted by ephemerista at 7:47 PM on March 12, 2009


Academic librarian; most of my reference time is IM reference, questions there are a little different because few people hop on chat to ask directional questions. The repetitive questions tend to be tech support-ish, because students and faculty are at home trying to do work with online resources. Typical shifts include:

*I can't get my article to download, can you help?
*Do you have books about this topic?
*I'm trying to start research for my paper and don't know what database to use
*I'm supposed to come take a library class, when is the next one?
*Where would I look to see if you have this DVD?
*You don't have this book, can you tell me if any other libraries near here do?
*How many books can I check out at once?
*Can I get this article online without having to come to the library?
*Do I have to come in to pay my fine or can I do it online?
posted by donnagirl at 7:59 PM on March 12, 2009


And here's a journal article on digital reference question types:

Digital reference: a case study of question types in an academic library

Abstract:
An analysis of reference questions received by the digital reference service of a medium-sized academic library over a two-year period showed that the service could handle the full range of simple to complex questions typically asked at a physical reference desk. Because broad or complex questions can be difficult to answer remotely, suggests a strategy for improving the process of answering such questions in the digital environment.


The authors analyzed 450 email reference transactions. The categories that emerged:
- Catalog look-up and use (Does the library have. . .? How do I find a video on. . .?).
- Library policies and scope of collections (Does the library carry textbooks? Do I have to pay for Inter-Library Loan services? Can I renew books by e-mail?).
- Connectivity questions (How do I get access from home? What's the password? Is the server down?).
- Database mechanics (features and use of a specific database, for example: How do I find an article in a certain journal, limit my search to book chapters, or print only the abstracts of the article?).

In terms of frequency, the top 5 were: questions answered using standard reference sources; starting-points for term papers and assignments; specific factual but not ready reference; catalog look-up and use; and library policies, procedures, scope of collections.

So their results match up well with the experiences of the academic librarians who have answered so far.
posted by needled at 8:15 PM on March 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


Public library patron here.

Do you have wi-fi?
Do I need a password?
Where can I plug my laptop into electricity?
Why can't my laptop connect to your wi-fi?
Do I have to accept a user agreement to use your wi-fi?
If I can't get online, how can I accept your online user agreement?
Why can't I access my email on your wi-fi? Do you block that?

bg, I hope your MLS has prepared you to deal with your patron's needs with current technology, and I hope you are prepared to continually update your tech skills.

My favorite librarian's response was from a frail silver-haired woman who cheerfully shrugged her shoulders and said "I don't know. In my experience, some people can get on the Internet, some can't."

My least favorite librarian's response, delivered in a caustic tone: "We don't deal with wi-fi. It's handled by an outside company."

posted by exphysicist345 at 8:39 PM on March 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


I worked in the stacks department of a relatively large university library. Most common questions were about where to find certain books, multimedia, collections or rooms, but you would occasionally get a wi-fi or copier question. The hardest thing I probably ran into was tracking down a book that had obviously been misplaced. Our library had 5 or 6 different collections and sometimes you can find a book that was supposed to be in one collection end up in a totally different collection. Worse, sometimes the book can't be found at all because some patron decided to reshelve the book on their own without any regard to order making it impossible to find. In this case we can only apologize to the customer and then fill out a lost form. Most of the time, customers are understanding of this.
posted by nikkorizz at 9:28 PM on March 12, 2009


Hospital librarian here:
Where is [X Journal]?
Can I use a computer?
How do I set up a printer?
Where are your books on CD?
Can you help me find articles on [topic Y]?
Here is a list of article citations, can you email the articles to me?
I need the latest research on [topic Z], can you please send me a list of citations by tomorrow?
How do I access the library's collections from home?

Hospital librarianship is an interesting mix of general librarianship and specialized stuff. We serve patients, the general staff of the hospital, and the medical professionals. Each group has their own needs, which keeps things interesting.
posted by cosmicbandito at 9:34 PM on March 12, 2009


"Where's the bathroom?" is indisputably #1.
"Can I use the internet?" is indisputably #2.
"Can you help me find ______" is indisputably #3.
"What's the name of this library" is...higher than you might think.

Those out of the way, I will relate to you all my favourite patron question. I was working the reference desk in a public library one Sunday afternoon when a teenage stoner type came up to the desk and asked "You got any books on history"? I replied that history was an awfully big topic, and asked if there were any particular countries or eras of history he was interested in. He thought about it for a second or two and said "Aw, you know...WORLD history!"

In the end, I just took him out to the 909s and he picked out this book.
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:48 PM on March 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


> /So much for my dreams of being a "professional"

A word of warning to the OP; working in a public library has its good points and bad points, but it's best to jettison any visions you may have of living the life of an information ninja and providing complex reference services to a steady stream of philosophers, poets and authors. You will spend the vast majority of your time telling people where the bathroom is, handing out staplers, rebooting computers that have frozen up and asking teenagers to be quiet. Every now and again you will field an interesting question, and you will savor these like a fine wine or expensive box of chocolate.
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:59 PM on March 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


Academic library, circulation desk, in roughly descending order of frequency:

"Where's the nearest bathroom?"
"Where are the videos?"
"The copier is jammed."
"I need a book, it's on reserve for Professor [Name]."
"I need a book, it's on reserve for the [subject] class."
"Where can I find [book]?"
"Do you know where Room [number] is?"
"I have some videos due today, can you renew them for me?"
"Where are the copiers?"
"I'm returning this, do I have fines on it?"
"Do you have my [cell phone | car keys | wallet] in your lost and found?"
"Do you have any more [small promotional items we gave out at the start of the year]?"

In a given shift, probably two thirds of all questions will be made up of the above, and one third will be miscellaneous other stuff, including reference and IT questions which I redirect to the appropriate departments. I often work shifts where my desk-mate and I are the only official presence in the building, though, so we're kind of on the "front line" for dealing with everything from "the vending machine stole my money!!!" to "the men's room toilet is overflowing" to "uh, there's a car in the parking lot that rolled into a tree, somebody might want to do something about that."
posted by Orinda at 11:05 PM on March 12, 2009


Academic library:
My paper won't print!
My paper's due in two days; can we make Inter-Library Loan go faster? Like, put a "rush" on it?
My Excel chart looks like crap. How do I fix it?
posted by codswallop at 2:58 AM on March 13, 2009


How do i do this on the computer. I am a network tech in a public library and very rarely do i notice the patrons asking for book help from the librarians. Its mostly how do I do this on the pc or how do I do that.

Now a days the only real help a librarian gives if we dont have a book or if the pc shows it being here but its not on the shelf.

Librarians are fastly becoming unneeded . well in a public library anyway. MY job on the other hand gets busier as librarians jobs get taken away by computers.
posted by majortom1981 at 4:44 AM on March 13, 2009


Here patrons can check out there own books on the pc, they can reserve their own books,They can sign up for programs from home and other things on the pc. So thats what I mean by jobs being taken away by computers.
posted by majortom1981 at 4:46 AM on March 13, 2009


For a more romantic and entertaining but certainly less accurate answer to this question, read The Gold Bug Variations.
posted by dmd at 5:59 AM on March 13, 2009


Public library;

Where are the bathrooms?
Where are the xerox machines?
Is this the reference desk?

Book related;

Where are the parenting books?
Where are the gardening books?
Where are the cookbooks?
Where are the dog breed books?
posted by QIbHom at 6:32 AM on March 13, 2009


Full disclosure: not a librarian. My understanding is that patrons' requests for tax forms is irritatingly common. The last time I was at an ALA conference, one booth was handing out buttons that read 'TAX FORMS' with a red slash through it, a la the 'NO SMOKING' sign.
posted by spamguy at 6:52 AM on March 13, 2009


Questions I got asked this week:

Can you give a tour to a guy who's writing a biography of Noah Webster?
Can I publish your John Locke letters in my forthcoming collection of the correspondence of Anthony Collins?
Can you export all the MARC records for the Hyde Collection into a special LibraryThing historical library?
Can I have a copy of your portrait of Samuel Johnson's wife, the only one in existence?

My job is awesome.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 7:12 AM on March 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


Nthing "where's the bathroom?" & "Can I use your internet?" (And of course, since it's MY internet, I always say, "NO!" a la Ted Stevens.) But another VERY common question that we get is: "What are your hours/When are you open?" And then, it's back to "do you have . . .?" and the actual reference questions.
posted by deejay jaydee at 8:41 AM on March 13, 2009


Here are some examples.
posted by exceptinsects at 9:04 AM on March 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Public high school library:

Do you have any headphones?
When is my book/calculator/Alphasmart... due?
Why can't I eat and drink in here?
Can I have a pass to go to the bathroom?
How do you make the internet work? (they have to set the proxy filter or our ISP doesn't allow the internet to work)
Can you help me print this?
Can I change my password?
Can you help me make a graph?
How do I use Photoshop?
Why do I need a pass to be in here?
Where is my teacher?
posted by Lynsey at 11:50 AM on March 13, 2009


"I'm referring to people in general and not implying that a public or university library should be like Barnes & Noble"

As an MLIS-holder who has worked in an academic library and at Borders, I can tell you that the questions one receives at the 2 places are nearly identical (except that Border's restrooms are easier to find).
posted by coolguymichael at 12:27 PM on March 13, 2009


"Do you have a stapler?"
posted by jdfan at 12:46 PM on March 13, 2009


Yep, hear all the questions mentioned by the public librarians here, all the time. I actually touched on the tax questions the other day on my blog [Warning: Ranty].

To get at your underlying question, though (about how patrons think), it depends on the patron, as usual, but there are some general types of mindsets:
-I love the library, it's so great, thanks so much for all the great free stuff. I'm happy to jump through whatever hoops (waiting, paperwork, etc.) it takes, because you guys are great!
-You (the librarian) do nothing except sit behind the desk and wait to chat with me. Did I ever mention my philosophy on governance / marriage / cats...
-I should know how to find everything myself, and everything about computers, so I'm terribly embarassed to have to ask you this, but how do I...
-I only come here when my kid has a report due for school, and I expect you to instantly produce whatever I'm asking for. I usually don't bother to bring my kid with me, or even get a clear idea of what he/she needs-- why can't you find it?
-Can't you just Google that?

So different ends of the spectrum in a lot of different ways. But good to see you're thinking like a user of the library-- that's our biggest challenge for the future, IMO.
posted by Rykey at 3:46 PM on March 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


I work with audio-visual materials in the archives of a museum. I am not a reference staff or the front desk person, but I do sit close to the door and I do help people with the playback equipment. A common question is: "is [staff person] here?"
The reference room is by reservation only, mostly academic researchers.
"I'm finished" followed by "thank you" and/or "What should I do with the materials" and/or "Where is the exit?"
"I think this recording is blank" and/or "Can you help me with [audio-visual equipment]?"
"Can you retrieve this material for me?"

I used to ask these questions when I was a university student (that were not mentioned above.)
"If I pay only part of my fines, can I take books out again?" and/or "Can I pay only part of my fines?"
Twice I had a late return on books that I later found in the shelves. (I guess that it was shelved but not registered in the catalogue.)
"What identification do I need to get a library card?"
posted by philfromhavelock at 4:14 PM on March 13, 2009


Where's the bathroom?
Where are your movies?
Where are your CDs?
Can I leave this here?
How do I sign up to use the internet?
Do you have a pen?
Do you have a stapler?
I can't get this site to work.
Do you have a water fountain?
Do you have this specific book/movie/CD?
I'm looking for a book/movie/CD about X.
[various combinations of book/movie/CD about X with traits Y and/or Z]
posted by johnofjack at 10:02 AM on March 14, 2009


If you're looking for more of an idea of the specific questions that get asked rather than the most common, most generic ones ("where is the bathroom?", "why isn't the printer working?"), I posted a summary of the questions asked at a large suburban branch over a three month period that were compiled by the branch head and her staff.

Her guidelines for what should be recorded included:

My instructions were to record questions that:
1) Showed the variety in questions that we receive
2) Required some effort/research/thought to answer
3) Went beyond the level of 'where are the Danielle Steel books'

posted by Jaybo at 7:06 AM on March 18, 2009


large suburban *public* library (although that will be quickly obvious if you follow the link in my last post)
posted by Jaybo at 9:21 AM on March 18, 2009


I work in a large-ish public library as well, and I second most of the questions that have already been mentioned. Particularly, internet, internet, internet, can I have an internet slip (non-library card holders, don't get me started on this issue...), how do I sign up for the internet, are their internet computers available right now, where is internet computer x, how do I use the internet, that guy stole my internet, can I have more time on the internet, how do I type a letter, etc. etc. The "I word" is easily the winner for most common questions I get, followed closely by where is the bathroom and can I use your phone/stapler/tape/highlighter/pen/paper/paperclips/whiteout.

It's not all this grim, though. A couple of questions from this week that made me feel like I was actually helping humans...
-a very enthusiastic little boy wanted multiple books and videos about tornadoes
-a young woman wanted information about the history of African American quilts, and got really stoked on using our library's databases in addition to finding multiple books on the subject
-a man was looking for information on a certain plot of land in the Bahamas (that was a really hard question)
-another man was looking for a MSDS sheet for a specific kind of auto paint
-a city worker was looking for images and maps from the early 1900's of a particular body of water in the area
-a woman wanted old newspaper articles about her father, who disappeared from the area in the 1950's
-a man wanted to know how to get his high school transcripts from a California school that ceased to exist in the 70's
-grantwriting information for a young lady who volunteers for a welfare rights organization
-questions about our downloadable audio service- the woman asking worked with incarcerated youth and was going to start adding audiobooks to their MP3 players for them

Out of all of these questions, I only failed on the MSDS one, although I did get the gentleman some contact information for the paint company.

I feel compelled to say that, along with the mayhem that is working in a public library, most days I find my job incredibly rewarding. Good luck in your studies!
posted by agathafrye at 11:33 AM on March 20, 2009


I am SO embarrassed to have used their instead of there in my previous post, and know not how to edit on askmefi. Please forgive me!
posted by agathafrye at 11:38 AM on March 20, 2009


The answers above make the public librar look boring. I get asked the bathroom question maybe once a week in my urban public reference library (daily usage between 2 - 4 thousand people), wifi complaints when it is down but the rest of the time my questions range from preschoolers wanting a book that is blue to questions on advance orthodonic procedures. It is a deeply satisfying job that I love, I hope you do too.
posted by saucysault at 10:17 AM on March 25, 2009


The Ref Grunt blogger wrote down every reference desk question from May 14, 2003 to May 14, 2004.
posted by bentley at 6:00 AM on April 7, 2009


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