Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Questions Today at the Reference Desk

Do you have any Theodore Dreiser books on tape or CD? No, but we do have Sister Carrie as a downloadable audiobook from Listen NJ. It comes bundled with a self-help tape for depression. No, just kidding.

Can you find information about my doctor? Yes, usually we can. We use AMA's Doctor Finder, The American Board of Medical Specialties website and/or the reference books to find educational information, address and phone number of offices and the NJ Office of the Attorney General to find the doctor's NJ license number and status. No, I can't tell you if I like your doctor or not.

Can you write this address (patron shows piece of paper with address on it) on this envelope for me? Um, yes, but why? Is it a ransom note? No, I just don't want the addressee to recognize my handwriting.

I can't read my handwriting with the information you gave me over the phone yesterday, can you give me the answer again? Yes. What is it with the handwriting problems today?

Can you look up 5 people's phone numbers for me? Yes. We use Reference USA, a database of phone and city directories available online to all NJ library card holders from any internet connected computer.

Patron calls back later to say several phone numbers did not work. Maybe he couldn't read his handwriting?

Why does the copier say it doesn't have any matching paper? I don't know. It often says that, but it's lying.
Does the library only have one copier now? Yes. The old copier location became a teen lounge.
 Alternatively, we could have middle schoolers lounging on the copier.

Can you look up this phone number which I don't recognize that was on my caller ID? Patron hands over scrap of paper with scribbled numbers. Yes. It's usually telemarketers calling from a cell phone or unlisted phone, but I can't find this one. Handwriting, people!

Do you have a fine tip marker I can use? No. How about a stubby, unsharpened golf pencil or some old pens I brought from home that have dog hair mixed in the ink tip? Might not help your handwriting though.

This book is damaged, can I have the copy from storage? Yes. My question is, why did we put the clean copy in storage and the one damaged by something which stained the pages red in the stacks. Yech.

Can I have blah blah tax forms for 2009? I couldn't find them on the IRS website. Yes. We use Google to find forms on the IRS site. It searches better than the IRS search function. Patron is not surprised that Google searches better than the government website. We commiserate about government inefficiency.

How late are you open? My son needs to study, asks mother waving hand at college age son gazing at test review book. 9:00 pm, I smile commiseratingly at the son. Lots of commiserating today.

Two men. Can we use the internet? Yes, you both can have a computer. No, I'm just here for moral support says one.

Can I get back the email I deleted from my spam folder in Yahoo? I don't think so. More commiserating.

Did you survive the storm? Yes. Did you?

1 comment:

Anne said...

Our Assistant Director explains it all with a clarification: the photocopier machine that used to be downstairs was removed by the company that leased it to the library because we weren't making enough money with it. That's how the teens got that space. If we want our copier back, we have to promise to kill more trees with extravagent copying.So that's it: be green, keep the teens.