I came down with an icky cold last week, and I thought it was all better but I started feeling sick again yesterday. Does anyone remember the Anastasia Krupnik book where’s she’s obsessed with the possibility that she’s caught leprosy? She keeps checking out a medical book from the public library that lists all the symptoms and concludes that because her earlobes itch, she’s destined to move to a leper colony. I watched Papillon a few days ago, where Steve McQueen escapes the horrible french penal colony system and winds up on an island set aside for lepers briefly. Even when dealing with lepers, McQueen is the essence of cool.
I don’t have leprosy, but I always tend to assume the worst when I get sick. So since my throat is sore, I’m wondering if I have strep or the black death. Hopefully I won’t infect my sister when she comes for a visit tomorrow
Good and Bad Things at the Reference Desk today:
Bad – People acting miffed I say I won’t watch over their backpacks for them. Seriously, they shouldn’t want to leave their stuff at the reference desk anyway, as I’ve been known to walk around and help people find books in the stacks. I don’t want to be responsible for any random belongings left behind the reference desk. What if all the librarians where I work are secretly kleptomaniacs? Don’t be leaving your backpack with people you don’t know!
Good – I managed to absolutely thrill a student when I showed him the non-English language news sources in Lexis Nexis.
Bad – Obscure ancient science journal abbreviations that don’t appear in my handy reference book of journal abbreviations. What’s with all the journal title abbreviations? Who started this? Was it scientists whose time was too valuable to type out the full name of the journal? And doesn’t is suck when the journal may be in a different language, so ann. may mean annals or annales or annalen? I totally cheat with science reference questions sometimes and e-mail the professor in my family for help, especially when I don’t have any other librarians around to ask.
Bad – Someone looking for a government document who isn’t sure what the format of the document is, but it has something to do with geology somewhere in the New England area.
Good – Some of the students in a class I taught earlier are following up, stopping by the reference desk or e-mailing me for help.
Bad – While I understand why someone want their child to practice the violin, it is rather difficult for me to answer a rather complicated reference question about psychology research while being serenaded loudly with selections from the first Suzuki book. Could people call the library after practice? I find it hard to try to think of possible research strategies when I have to listen to an extremely loud badly out of tune rendition of “The Old Grey Goose is Dead”. Three people are waiting in line for help. At one point, I end up describing the search features of PsycInfo from memory on the phone while silently demonstrating for someone else how to search MLA at the desk.