Saturday, July 26, 2008

Saturday Reference

Wright's Black Boy

why don't we have a single J. Picoult book in? (Um: because she's popular?)


It's quiet enough for a while that I preview teen book reviews, then post them online.


printer troubles

a book for her child psych class

how to get to Kangaroo Jacs

(I sense more printer trouble walking my way....)
(And did I mention the caller earlier this week? No? Here's how that went:
Phone rings, I answer - My Lib information desk
Her: Yeah, I need a book on mice.
Me: Let's see as -["pets" is the word that was going to be next]
Her: You know, like how to tell if I have them in my house, and how to get rid of them.
Me: Ah. Let's see what I can find. ["Pests -- control" is a subject heading and one of our big libs has a book on household pests.] There's something at another library that might help; I can send it over here.
Her: You don't have anything on mice in that library?!
Me: Well, I'd bet there'd be something in one of our general household books. Let me call you back.
And sure enough, a Hints from Heloise book and Household Hints for Dummies (yes, really) look useful so I called her back and put them on hold for her. I am always a little surprised by how many people begin with "do you have a book on" as if we have one book on every subject.)

Twilight links
Interesting conversation about re-reading

Thief of Time, Terry Pratchett
Stoner & Spaz, Ronald Koertge


Daniel said...

Y'know, I can kinda see the "do you have a book on..." if it's a very esoteric topic. "Do you have a book on Karl Lueger's plans for the development of Vienna's Ringstrasse during the 1870s?" OK. Maybe there is only one. More likely, for a suburban branch, there aren't any (although if your Lib has one, I'll be damned impressed.)
"Do you have a book on mice?" Umm...Yeah, we might have a few.
Thinking back to my library-workin' days in high school, I was continually surprised by the extremely odd things that even the Frederick County library had in the collection. I figure that "do you have a book on..." types are those who very rarely have the occasion or desire to research anything of any import whatsoever. It probably doesn't dawn on them that anyone would even write a book about mice--as pets, pest or otherwise.

cnb said...

I think Daniel is right about patrons, in that they don't consider every aspect of the item they are researching. Requests come out of a person's needs, and if the only need a patron can "see" is "Me have rat problem. Me need book on killing rats." then they wouldn't envision there would be any other option for information about rats. They only see what effects them, the selfish buggers. Since Lisa is a trained professional, and damn good at her job, she offered the person other options. Yay Lisa!
I see it with the high school kids too. Requests like "I need every book you have on Hamlet! And I need it now!" are ridiculous, but they don't understand that not every book on Hamlet will suit their needs. Of course, half of them haven't read Hamlet anyway so giving them even one book is sometimes one too many.
What gets me annoyed is when we have freshman teachers that ask their students to find higher level research materials for basic projects, when an encyclopedia will work just fine. For example, why would you use ask a freshman to use academic journals to put together a newspaper?? It's like bringing in the entire IT/computer department to print a word document.

Lisa said...

But in a way, it's just the opposite: we might have a book on Austria -- but not a whole book on Vienna, much less a specific Viennese happening.

Of course, surprising finds do crop up in older collections (*cough* RPL *cough*).