“The answer man adjusted his headset, settled into his office chair and faced the next caller’s question. “Hello, Ask N.Y.P.L.,” said the library researcher, Matthew J. Boylan, 54. It was an official at the United States Holocaust Museum in Washington asking about Jews in early-20th-century Thessalonika. “Well, Thessalonika was part of the Ottoman Empire,” said Mr. Boylan, who steered the caller to a set of digitized oral histories in the library’s Dorot Jewish Division. The next caller needed a certain biology textbook.” (via NYTimes.com)
“Did an elephant really swim from Brooklyn to Staten Island? That was one of the 3.5 million often funny and poignant questions visitors to 60 Brooklyn Public Library branches had for 100 research librarians in 2013, records show. Despite the advent of online search engines, the number of library queries rose by 10% last year — the highest since at least 2009, according to new BPL data.” (via NY Daily News)
What Happened to the National Zoological Park Library, or How a New Model of Librarianship Came to the Smithsonian Libraries
“The end of an era has come to the Smithsonian Libraries and a new one begins! The current model of a library, with a physical location, books and journals on the shelves and a librarian to manage it all is so 2011. A hip, new model of a ‘ librarian-as-reference-resource-person-embedded-in-research-department’ has come for the National Zoological Park/Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in 2012!”
ALA Press Release – “Library users’ evolving information needs and their choice of search methods have changed reference work profoundly. Today’s reference librarian must work in a whole new way—not only service-focused and businesslike, but even entrepreneurial. In “The Librarian as Information Consultant: Transforming Reference for the Information Age,” published by ALA Editions, Sarah Anne Murphy rethinks in an innovative way the philosophy behind current library reference services.”
Oooh.. Probably useful for corporate librarians too..
Rick Librarian – “One thing that you could always count on was that the reference books were here on the shelves. As good as that was in the past, the problem now is that the reference books are here on the shelves, but no one is here using them. They are just sitting. So we are liberating them. We’re going to let them out to anyone with a card, just like other books, magazines, CDs, and DVDs.”
These usually don’t work well, but when I looked myself up on Free People Searches, the results were dead on.
Crazy questions at “The Wheel” – “One woman used to call in and ask, “If I was hit by a tractor-trailer truck and dragged 20 miles, would I survive?”