Some Friday fun – Odd reference queries

80799335_779837c60d_oThese are some actual reference queries that have been asked at reference desks at some of the world’s libraries…

  • “Do you have books here?”
  • “Do you have a list of all the books written in the English language?”
  • “Do you have that book by Rushdie: ‘Satanic Nurses’?” (Actual title: “Satanic Verses”)
  • “Where is the reference desk?” This was asked of a person sitting at a desk who had, hanging above her head, a sign saying “REFERENCE DESK”
  • “I was here about three weeks ago looking at a cookbook that cost $39.95. Do you know which one it is?”
  • “Which outlets in the library are appropriate for my hair dryer?”
  • “Do you have any books with photographs of dinosaurs?”
  • “I need a color photograph of  King Arthur, or Moses, or Socrates.”
  • “I need to find out Ibid’s first name for my bibliography.” *
  • “I borrowed a crime book last week. It was green, do you know who wrote it?”
  • “Why don’t you have any books by Ibid? He’s written a lot of important stuff.” *
  • “I’m looking for information on carpal tunnel syndrome. I think I’m having trouble with it in my neck.”
  • “Is the basement upstairs?” (Asked at First Floor Reference Desk)
  • “I am looking for a list of laws that I can break that would send me back to jail for a couple of months.”

* Ibid – is Latin for ‘in the same place’. You see it often in academic text books. If multiple quotes or references come from the same source, instead of writing the author/ title/ publisher over and over each time it’s sited, the writer would write Ibid, meaning ‘from the same place as all the previous references.’

3 thoughts on “Some Friday fun – Odd reference queries

  1. Hi All!
    Viv here, I’m in the Rotterdam City Library and wondering whether I could bond with the librarians who would have been asked these questions too! Off to France tomorrow, and now I’ve FINALLY visited the TTG website I’m sending a postcard! Hope all’s well, Cheers, Viv.

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