Category Archives: refgrunt

people in the library?!! madness!!!

There were actual people in the library today, when classes aren’t in session yet. I decided that they were all:

  1. dedicated grad students working on their dissertations
  2. random people using the internet

So, a Friday Refgrunt:

  • I’m sorry the web catalog is down. But you can use this telnet version!
  • No one has any questions. I have a long conversation with Librarian X about about the political aspects of library web page design. I look at one of her projects.
  • I manage to locate an obscure Russian book on Worldcat with a garbled citation. The grad student looks so happy, and I e-mail him the WorldCat record so he can request it through InterLibrary loan.
  • Where is your theater section? I can point you to where it is, but were you looking for anything in particular? Plays by Joe Orton? Ok, we have several of his plays, I can write some call numbers down for you, were you looking for a specific play or did you need some of his collected works? I need the play Funeral Games! I write down the call number and give her directions to the area of the building where she can find it.
  • Library catalog seems to be back. The grad student is very happy.
  • A girl needs to print things from a CD, all of the computer labs are closed, and our computers don’t have a cd-rom drive, so I let her sneak behind the desk to use my computer.
  • Systems dude appears to tell me that the catalog is indeed up. I wish him a stress-free weekend.
  • He needs to look at the MCAT book in the ready reference section.
  • Joe Orton girl comes back and asks how she can apply for a library card. Yikes! I didn’t even think that she wasn’t a student here. I tell her that she could try requesting the book she needs via her library’s interlibrary loan service, but she can’t check out a book from us if she isn’t attending our school. She can come in and study, use the computers, read books, and photocopy books, but that’s about it.
  • I look up a couple books for the industrious grad student, and tell him that he will have to recall them, as someone else has them checked out.
  • She needs to use the three hole punch.
  • Is the catalog up? It should be, let’s check. Yep, there you go!
  • Librarian Y comes along and we discuss Librarian X’s elite web design skills
  • Librarian Z comes along, time for me to leave the desk!

slow night at the reference desk

Refgrunt from a very slow night:

The bound periodicals are over there
I’ll show you where the computer science books are, they might have been moved
You can only check out a book for a month, but you can renew it a bunch!
How to print
I explain the differences between a collection of electronic journals vs an article database
How to print
A family on a college tour asks what the best academic department is…I make something up
(To student poking at computer) Did you have any questions about the computer? …You can save to a floppy disk or usb device
Visiting student asks about accessing library databases — as long as you are in the library I can log you in to anything you want
Limiting to full-text in an article database
Yes, go ahead and check your e-mail

summer refgrunt

It’s been awhile since I refgrunted, here goes:

He needs Bandaids

She wants to put a trace on a second copy of a book (one copy is listed as checked out) that I think might not exist, even though it is listed as being in the catalog. I take down her information but tell her to place a recall on the 1st copy, just in case. I also think the book should be in the reference collection and not circulating at all. Hmmmm….

Books are over there

Bound periodicals are over there

She needs items we don’t have, I teach her all about interlibrary loan and world cat

Places to study in the library


Wireless access

I help an ESL student understand her grammar homework.

Copycard problem. I give him another card, since he has lost $5, and the office that take care of things like that is closed.

Wireless access

refgrunting and Mr. Bloom

I posted a grunt at

One of my friends (who should be blogging) e-mailed me to say:

“Also, it’s swell that Orlando is doing a READ poster, but doesn’t his neck look unnaturally long and skinny and like he’s Rubber Man or Plastic Man or something? And where the hell is Viggo’s poster??”

Orlando’s neck does look a little wonky. I don’t think he could pull off Plastic Man’s red jumpsuit and shades. But I’m sure putting the poster up in the YA section of your library will make a legion of pre-teen girls happy.

I want Viggo’s READ poster too, though!

beyond the valley of the refgrunt

Ever since refgrunt went on vacation I’ve noticed an alarming spike in my referral logs. Clearly people crave more refgrunting. Here you go!

French Dictionaries are over there, miss.
We can’t hold your backpacks for you while you go eat.
If you are researching public health policies, try these sources…
That speaker is in that building across campus
You search the library catalog to find out if we have a journal
We don’t have the videotapes that are on reserve for your class at another university. If we did, you couldn’t check them out today, since you aren’t a student here. Sorry sir.
You can check out an ethernet cable over there, miss
Group study places are over there
Here are some resources to try for your poli sci paper
Citation management software
We don’t have MSWord on these computers, sir
Grammar handbooks are there, miss
You can get into E-Journals from your dorm room, sir

tangognat meets refgrunt

Since today I spent half my day on the desk, I thought I’d experiment with a RefGrunt style post:

Here are some databases you might want to try for your research….This is how you might search for your topic
Books are over there
Here is a highlighter
Back issues of that magazine from 1935 are there
We have online access to that journal
Books are over there
Phone number for the campus convenience store
Here is some white-out
You can type your paper in the computer lab
Books are over there
Put a trace on the missing book
College rankings
That book is at the other library. You can still check it out.
Here is a calculator
InterLibrary Loan
Reference books are here, books you check out are there
Use the LC call numbers
Place a recall on the book
No floppy discs here
You look up a book like this
Spanish Dictionary
You can check out as many books as you need
Here is a pen
You can photocopy the magazine
Water fountain is over there
Reserve is over there
I don’t have any kleenex