Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Back to the City

Okay, getting a little risque, a little too rustic, out there in rural Saskatcheewin. I may come back to commentaries on rural life later on, but will return to the urban oak tree that is my usual existence. The only thing more I will say about riding bitch is that it really shakes up the communal sense of self if the woman drives the truck and the man rides bitch. No one knows what to do with that.

Anyway, back to the city. Back to the oak tree. Back to the little world that is mine. What I love about Jane Austen novels is that the whole world is right there. You don't really need to venture further than the scope of the novel to encounter all sorts of fascinating people.

I often feel like working at a public library is just like this. A mini-monde. There are so many fascinating people who work at the library or whom I encounter on a daily basis.

And if you work in reference, there is no end to the wild and wacky questions you can hear from people. Here's a fabulous question I once took over the phone:

"Do Eskimos see the moon?"

It sounded impossible to answer, but with a little squirrel detective work and a little of what we call the reference interview, it became this: "If you live in the land of the midnight sun where it is light out for so many hours a day, is the moon ever visible?" And thus it becomes simply an astronomy query. I love my job some days.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

i love this comment stuff! ok, ok, i've got one! we are convinced that the big dipper is upside down over here in Thailand. are we crazy?

you're the bestest libarian ever!

12:14 am  
Blogger Carole said...

Great reference interview example. May I post it on my blog (crediting you, of course)?

11:03 am  
Blogger Gwen said...

Sure, Carol, go ahead.

9:03 pm  

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