How did you do that?

February 21, 2008

One of my favorite parts of being a librarian is when I answer a question for someone and they respond with, “How did you do that?”

Today, I had a patron ask for our phone book to find the address to a store. It wasn’t in the phone book, and so I offered to look it up in Yahoo Yellow Pages, and in Google Maps. We found the address, and looked at the map to determine a cross street and how long her walk might be. She was astounded that all this information was in one place, and she asked, “How did you do that?” And so I showed her how to search Google Maps. It was fantastic.

Being a librarian isn’t just about having the answers. We shouldn’t hoard information. It’s just as important to answer a question as it is to show someone how they can use our awesome information-finding tools, too. It’s a great and very rewarding part of the job.

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How do you spell “pedia”?

February 12, 2008

Today I have:

– had a patron call and say, “So I need to build a bar in my basement.”
– helped someone figure out the difference between “acclimation” and “acclamation.”
– used NoveList to figure out where a book was in a series (my favorite NoveList feature, seriously.)
– found a book a patron was desperately searching for (but could not remember anything about) using only the search terms “mango” and “sail.”
– endured a conversation about Wikipedia between a patron who had no idea what it was and a librarian who understood even less. The subject line of this post says it all.