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Thursday, February 01, 2007

IM Reference: Last Refuge of the Shiftless Student 

Patron:I need you to tell me what photosynthesis is.

Librarian: From Encarta: Photosynthesis, process by which green plants and certain other organisms use the energy of light to convert carbon dioxide and water into the simple sugar glucose. In so doing, photosynthesis provides the basic energy source for virtually all organisms. An extremely important byproduct of photosynthesis is oxygen, on which most organisms depend.

Patron: But I need it in your own words

Librarian: What grade are you in? Do you want a definition that might be easier to understand? Would you like the definition from World Book, a children’s encyclopedia?

Patron: 7th. Just give it to me in your own words. I need it in your own words

Librarian: Is this for a homework assignment?

Patron: GIVE IT TO ME IN YOUR OWN WORDS

Librarian: Sorry, I provided you with the definition. I’m not going to do your homework assignment for you. Anything else I can help you with?

Patron signed off

IM Reference, last refuge of the profoundly lazy

Patron: I need some facts about President Wilson

Librarian: Here are some quick facts from Encarta:
Lowered tariff rates and established a federal income tax with the Underwood Tariff of 1913.
Established the Federal Reserve System in 1914 to supervise and regulate banks.
Asked Congress to declare war on Germany on April 2, 1917, after many diplomatic attempts to end World War I.
Signed peace treaty with Germany to end World War I in 1919.
Received the 1919 Nobel Peace Prize for efforts to end World War I and to establish the League of Nations.
1902-1910 Served as president of Princeton University.
1911-1913 Served as governor of New Jersey.
1913-1921 President of the United States.
Wilson allowed sheep to graze on the White House lawn during World War I; their wool helped raise money for the Red Cross.
Wilson was the first president to cross the Atlantic Ocean while in office.
Wilson established the practice of holding regular presidential press conferences.

Patron: I just need 5. Pick out the five best facts and give them to me.

Librarian: I gave you five facts. Pick out the ones you want.

Patron: I just want five facts that are the best.

Librarian: I gave you the material. It’s up to you to judge which ones you need. Please don’t ask me to do your homework.

Patron signed off

Comments:
Ack! I'm glad to say, I've yet to enter IM Reference hell. I have also heard of some "interesting" text messaging reference stories...

BTW, thanks for linking to me Foxy! Please note, however, that I've moved my blog to WordPress. Check it out and let me know what you think!
 
I only do e-mail reference. We had one wing nut that wanted a local hockey teams scores from the 20's & 30's.

When I explained to him that the "twenties and thirties" were too broad - and that we couldn't look through that much microfilm, he e-mailed back and said "well, just look on the weekends - thats when they printed the scores"....

oh! if only I thought of that -

xo,
WDL
 
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