Librarians And Your Odd Questions

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.

The future belongs to the curious, The ones who are not afraid to try it, explore it, poke at it, question it and turn it inside out

Handy List of Some Library Journal Websites

Keeping track of library literature can be taxing. Here is a list of some library journals websites to make matters easier.

American Archivist https://www2.archivists.org/american-archivist

Archivaria https://archivaria.ca/index.php/archivaria

Cataloging & Classification Quarterly https://www.tandfonline.com/toc/wccq20/current

The Charleston Advisor http://www.charlestonco.com/

Children and Libraries http://www.ala.org/alsc/publications-resources/cal

College & Research Libraries https://crl.acrl.org/index.php/crl

Communications in Information Literacy https://pdxscholar.library.pdx.edu/comminfolit

Evidence Based Library and Information Practice https://journals.library.ualberta.ca/eblip/index.php/EBLIP

In the Library with the Lead Pipe http://www.inthelibrarywiththeleadpipe.org/archives/

Internet Research (journal) https://www.emeraldinsight.com/loi/intr

Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship http://www.istl.org/

Italian Journal of Library, Archives and Information Science https://www.jlis.it/

Journal of Academic Librarianship https://www.journals.elsevier.com/the-journal-of-academic-librarianship/

Journal of Documentation https://emeraldinsight.com/loi/jd

Journal of Library Administration https://www.tandfonline.com/toc/wjla20/current

The Library Quarterly https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/toc/lq/current

Library Review (journal) https://www.emeraldinsight.com/loi/lr

Reference and User Services Quarterly https://journals.ala.org/index.php/rusq/issue/archive