Thursday, September 21, 2006


The first half of the week at the ref desk has been characterized by a good bit of computer trouble-shooting, while the IT staff updates the software that manages patron computer sessions and printing. "No, you are not limited to just one hour of computer time, now. Let that hour run out, then sign on again and you'll get the second." "We're sorry." "Thanks for your patience." "Can't print? Let me save that and print it from my computer."

Near closing time on Tuesday, I got a tough question, on the phone: "What's the birthdate of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of Iran?" Ah Ready Reference! The almanac had the year: she wanted the day. Our biography database didn't have that info; -- the portal to all things governmental -- was a pain to use and yielded nothing; and Google gave me nothing I could trust. Ah! Silly Old Bear: the encyclopedia. Our online Britannica had it.

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