Reference librarians reach out




A librarian sits at the reference desk. Patrons come to the desk, ask questions, and receive answers. That’s the way it’s supposed to work. I have personally served at busy times with people streaming past the desk in both directions, but not stopping to ask questions. That doesn’t ┬ánecessarily mean that none of those people had questions, either. Here’s a story I found on a librarians’ email list: One student at an academic librarian sat at a table asking friends for help as they walked by. He used his cell phone to call friends in other parts of the library. … Continue reading






A tour of the library blogosphere




To the best of my knowledge, Reading, Writing, Research is the only blog written by a librarian intended to be read by the general public. All the others are written either to other librarians or to patrons at whatever library the author works for. That is not to say that other library blogs have nothing of interest to the general public. Today’s post links to posts on other blogs that you might enjoy. If you like this one, it will become the first of an occasional series. … Continue reading






Presenting library book cart drill teams (!?!)




A couple of months ago I posted some videos of librarians doing parodies of popular songs. In the process of looking for them, I found some that featured library book cart drill teams. That’s right. Beginning in 2004, the American Library Association and DEMCO, one of the major library vendors, have sponsored a Book Cart Drill Team competition. Teams of librarians choreograph routines that involve pushing or pulling library book carts to music. The idea has caught on! Enjoy. The Cart Wheels (Des Plaines Public Library) rehearse for the 2007 Fourth of July parade in Des Plaines, Illinois. 2011 California … Continue reading






Changing libraries, changing catalogers




Shortly after I graduated from library school, I met with a library director who told me that librarianship had changed a lot since I was in library school. I pointed out that I had only graduated two weeks earlier. She repeated that librarianship had changed a lot since I was in library school. I doubt that it really changed much in two weeks, but it didn’t take long for me to begin to see big changes. Until the late 1800s, library catalogs were contained in books. Whenever the library acquired anything new, the cataloger had to make note of it … Continue reading






Librarians do . . .




A couple of years ago a funny video made the rounds of library-oriented email lists. Students and faculty of the University of Washington Information School produced a parody of Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face.” The new words urged listeners to use library resources if they want to find information instead of becoming overwhelmed by search results. I recently remembered it and wondered what other clever, entertaining videos other librarians have produced. A You Tube search turned up several, of course, but I found three videos with titles that start “Librarians do. . .” What a great set! Why do librarians take … Continue reading