Advice from the Reference Desk

Dear Student*, I’m sorry to inform you of this cold, hard truth:  The ubiquity of desktop computing in your educational process does not equate to being able to do everything you need to do all day long in the last 30 seconds before your class starts.  Your failure to leave…

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Service is service, online or off

Hoo-boy.  Lots of debate online and off, public and private, about David Lee King’s two posts on IM reference, and the many varied blog replies to them. Here’s my very short answer to the question “How should IM reference queries be treated?”:  You decide for your library. Because you know…

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no one said public service was easy

Some days I’m blessed with reference desk shifts in which I can comfortably work on my spreadsheet of database statistics, or update my LibGuides, or do some collection development work, all while answering a few chat reference questions, troubleshooting the printer, and answering interesting questions from polite and cheerful students.…

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What is real library work, anyway?

“I’m not trying to be a pain, but if someone’s, like, just doing Facebook, can I kick them off? Can you? I have actual work to do!” That’s the eternal library computer lab question, isn’t it? Libraries struggle with it more than plain-vanilla computer labs, I would guess, in that…

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To Do while working reference today

Cooperative Collection Development tasks: get copies of presentations, transcribe notes into wiki, finish setting up wiki, find listserv instructions, email CD libns re: listserv, find contacts for libraries not in attendance, summarize all for in-house staff. ** Do self-study questions from Director. Do workload questions from HR. Help students with…

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