Last week the Kalamazoo Gazette had an article “Of Giraffes and More: Fielding Questions on the Reference Desk.” The reporter had asked several of our reference staff for the most interesting question of the year. What a challenging question to ask our staff AND what challenging questions they have answered!
As reported in the article, we had a record number of questions last year: 192,580 to be exact and patron assistance in all categories, included reference questions, is up about 20% so far this year. We too are experiencing the national trend of an increase in library use in all categories during challenging economic times.
Some had predicted a decline in the need for reference assistance at public libraries with home internet access and the advent of websites like Google and Wikipedia. That is not happening at KPL, nor at libraries generally. Business is booming! Patrons need help defining their search strategy and finding authoritative sources.
We can help. Our staff has reviewed many, many websites, selected the best ones, and arranged them in 49 categories or topic guides. We continually add new categories and add additional resources to the current ones.
Come visit soon…..or go to our website or call or email with your reference questions.
Of giraffes and more: Librarians field complicated questions on the reference desk (Kalamazoo Gazette)