Librarian Ire

Friday, June 30, 2006

Crazy passes v.2

If Flaky researcher woman wasn't bad enough we have crazy summer students in every day.
Now if it were grad students taking some extra credit it wouldn't be so bad. They at least know how to operate a copy machine and have more information than one word for a book.
Bandanna lady was driving me nuts today. First she kept trying to buy copy cards from me. Now I have no objection to you handing me money. After all, I could use it. But the instructions on how to get a copy card are very clear. And I know I was the third person to explain it to you today.
Then later on in the day she came in with the words, "I wonder if you could help me, as I am a library newbie." That's the worst way to ask a reference question in the whole universe. But I get paid to answer questions so nothing I can really do about it.
Bandanna lady wanted a book. She wasn't sure we had it, but she knew the college bookstore didn't.
So here we go into the reference interview.
"What's the title?" I ask.
"Oh I don't know. But it's about meditation." Oh goodie.
"Okaay, who's the author?"
"The last name is Hugo."
"And do you know the first name?"
I ask but my hope fading.
"Oh no. But the last name is Hugo."
In one last ditch effort I try to salvage this question. "Do you have an inital?"
No she didn't. All she knew was that it was in English by someone named Hugo and it was about poetry. Oh goody. I told her we'd get a lot of hits. She didn't believe me.
So I filtered out every language except English. Well it cut the records down by a third. Which meant there were over 1,000 hits to search.
I suggested that she ask someone in her class if they remembered the title or author of the book so we could narrow the search down.
Bandanna lady didn't think they'd know. Until one of her classmates piped up with the suggestion that she go to the bookstore and ask them. They had ordered copies and would likely remember what it was.
That took a minute or two to register with Bandanna lady. "Oh I won't bother with them, since I have already finished my piece and don't need the book."
AUGH!!! So why'd you ask me?
Hey, don't get me wrong, I don't mind helping people find stuff. I even like the challenge when you don't have all the information. Although most people have a clue!

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