Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Pre-Thanksgiving reference questions:
  • How can I find an essay about The Taming of the Shrew written by Lynda Boose?
  • Where can I find information about Jews shaping or recovering their identity? [After further questioning...] How can I find information about the phenomenon of people who didn't know they had Jewish ancestry, discovering and recovering it? I.e., the concept of crypto-Judaism?
  • Where can I find out what ancient Greek social structures were like?
  • Do you have any issues of Synergy, a small, locally-produced journal made by a UO graduate student on the Eugene music scene?
  • Can you find an article that my professor told me to look at, written by a woman named Miriam Silverberg and about something to do with Japan and modernity?
  • Where can I find articles about rape or sexual assault on university campuses?
  • Which one of the consortium libraries will send a copy of a book I need fastest?

And a quick word about why we're here. I'm now intentionally recording reference questions for a few different purposes:

1. For my own interest and sense of accomplishment, because otherwise this aspect of my work evaporates as soon as I've done it.

2. For my fellow literature librarians, although most of what I record here isn't specific to literature research. We've been talking about the role of blogs on the LES list lately, and now I'm more conscious of the fact that some of those folks are actually reading this thing. So I try to keep track of the more interesting literature reference questions I get, for the sake of comparison across the profession. And because I like reading their blogs too. :)

3. For administration in my own library, who may want a better idea of what we do on the desk, both the arcane and the banal. Because, see 1.) above: this kind of work evaporates once it's done, unless you keep track of it. Reference stats are in decline all over the country, but I think we provide an irreplaceable service to our students and faculty. Who else sees 2,000 faces a week, and tells them how to find statistics on cell phone use in Thailand?


Blogger Heather W. said...

You are so right about questions evaporating. After reading some of these, I thought 1) I talked to that patron, too and 2) She seems to get more interesting questions than I do. Am I just forgetting them or is she more approachable or what? Hmmmm, makes you think.

10:43 AM  

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