I’ve rebooted http://www.thelibrarynews.com, this time older and wiser. The original site had many pages of many RSS feeds from lots of library sites.
The coverage was awesome but the load times were bad, no fun. This time around the load times are much better and the site is sleeker.
I’ve decided to focus on Twitter pages of North American library associations instead of cool library blogs. I have a space in my heart for cool library blogs but library associations have consistent news while blogger post when they/we can.
The Library News site is a WordPress site hosted by DreamHost, unlike this blog which is hosted by wordpress.com which I have mixed feelings about, stuff for another post. Suffice it to say it is fulfilling when a side project works.
As far as I am aware, the public reference librarian is the only job where anyone can ask nearly any conceivable question and get a fair answer. That is an odd place to hold in society.
Yet, there is something of comfort knowing that there is someone designated to answer the questions of the public. A universal need for information necessitated the position, the sheer division of labor in society required a person to answer questions in general. And that lucky person is the librarian.
Librarians of all domains get asked odd questions. By odd I mean a mixture of quirky and tricky to answer that very well might catch the librarian off guard. These are the best questions for some librarians as they require deep dives into unknown information rabbit holes. Whole new worlds can be explored while chasing down an answer. It can be a hell of a ride.
There are limitations to odd questions, for example, librarians cannot locate your lost keys (which you just had in your hands) or tell you where the cat is hiding. However, if you lost your keys in the library, they might be in the lost and found, and there might be books on cat behavior. Librarians also don’t give medical or legal advice but alternatively, offer materials on medicine and law. Deep questions like the meaning of life will be directed to works of philosophy and theology. The goal is never to avoid the odd question, just help the patron along in their quest.
So ask your librarian odd questions, explore the limits of your curiosity. Life can be so fascinating when unusual thoughts are explored. And don’t feel weird about it, the librarian is on your side.