Friday, June 1, 2007

Fancy Friday!

Hi! It has been awhile. Took a break from refgrunting, for a variety of reasons. None of them very good. Here are some loose ends that I am typing up from the last week or so.

Ahhh.. the basic questions can send us into a tailspin. A gentleman called in to obtain the conversion between an inch and a centimeter. Pretty obvious... I know it is somewhere in the area of 1 inch to 2.5 centimeters, but how to quickly access that information. The short answer is World Almanac, but for some reason I thought, the back of the dictionary! Why? Because my dictionary has all sorts of cool charts and conversion tables in the back.

I really like the ideas of roving reference, SMS or text message reference, reference through social networking, reference everywhere! Getting into the environment where are patrons are, providing services in the tools and formats they recognize. I had a reference question that came through the local hardware store regarding book binders. To get inside the mind of the patron, and follow the thought process which brought him to his local hardware store would have been fascinating, or rather simple. Perhaps he has an established relationship with John (not his real name) at the hardware store, and John seems to know everything. Or, perhaps seeing the process of book binding requiring various tools and machines, that could be purchased or supplied through a hardware store.


tj said...

Google is your friend.

maura the librarian said...

Thanks TJ!

It is the reference conundrum... do I use Google or do I look it up in a book?
I know it would take .3 seconds in Google... but books! Books! And then it takes me a bit longer in a book. Am I saving the time of the reader? Does the patron care where the information comes from?

And so it begins...