Thursday, September 13, 2012

One Day at the Reference Desk

Questions for the Reference Librarians during a typical day recently:

Q: Where is the nearest motor vehicle station ?
A: NJ Motor Vehicle Commission website has a location finder that we use to give addresses and directions to patrons.
We also throw in soothing murmurs to commiserate with whoever is headed to this infamously molasses-slow agency.

Q: I think I lost my EE bonds. How can I find out if my U.S. Savings bond has been redeemed by someone else? How do I report them missing?
A: This is a variation on the bad news we gave out recently that EE bonds are no longer sold at banks, but that people now have to use the Department of the Treasury website to purchase bonds. For this patron, we found a form and printed it out for her
Claim for Lost, Stolen or Destroyed U.S. Savings Bond form . We also found this:

' Not Sure If You Already Redeemed a Bond?
If you have the serial numbers, we can look up the status of the securities, assuming they are U.S. Treasury securities. To do so, a signed request by the owner or co-owner must be received by us before we can provide the information. If the bond owner or both co-owners are deceased, then the person making the request needs to provide proof, such as a copy of the death certificate(s). Send the request to:
Bureau of the Public Debt
P.O. Box 7012
Parkersburg, WV 26106-7012 '

Q: Yikes! I accidentally printed reams of printouts I don't want!
A: Librarian runs (this is why we wear sensible shoes with non-skid soles) to the printer and takes out all the paper. This buys us enough time to persuade the printer to lose its memory, cease and desist with the print job. Failing persuasion through a remote link, the printer's power can be cut off, count to ten, cross fingers, reboot. Ta da! No more printouts. And really, who needs 57 copies of a red velvet cake recipe?

Q: Speaking of recipes: one patron opined, 'my garden keeps producing more zucchini than I need. Can you find me some good zucchini recipes?'
A: Ha ha ROTFL. Who amongst the gardeners of the world has not cursed the profligacy of zucchini plants in August? BHPL has a cookbook to the rescue: Squash & zucchini : pumpkin, butternut, musk, Hokkaido, and zucchini  by Elisabeth Bangert which can be found at call # 641.65 BAN. Or you can "Google" the phrase "zucchini recipes" and wait for the deluge of websites with recipes. And finally, scroll down to the bottom of this blog page to watch 'Zucchini Visits the Library' slide show. This shows you just how irrepressible these squash can be.

Speaking of printing, printing problems must be the number one difficulty patrons have when using the library computers.
Q: When I printed out my email, it came out all funny and incomplete.
A: To avoid funny and other undesired printing results, use the 'print preview' option and always use the print button which is part of the email, or other website or program, you are using. That will result in a cleaner copy.

Q: Can you recommend anything good to read?
A: we have a 'Staff Picks' shelf right near the Reference Desk where we shelve mostly light, entertaining books in many fiction genres and best-selling, highly readable non-fiction. This morning's recommendations were for any Stuart Woods mystery and the latest Alexander McCall Smith book. The patron last seen happily clutching the books and looking forward to a 'good read.'

No comments: