Yesterday was the first day of the Indiana Library Federation Annual Conference. This year's theme is Libraries Rock! Here's a rundown of my schedule.
8:00am Welcome and Keynote Address
9:30am A Spin through the Exhibits
10:00am Cataloging Rocks!: Beyond the Basics
11:00am Extended Lunch Period Due to Lack of Interest in Sessions
1:30pm Interlibrary Loan Data: Make it Bigger, Make it Badder, Make it Awesome
2:30pm Interlibrary Loan-Circulation Division Business Meeting
3:00pm Break Time!
4:00pm Cataloging 101: Basic Serials Cataloging
Out of all that, there are just a couple of things I'd like to share. First, a big thank you to the Indiana Historical Society, which was giving away some wonderful Indiana history books in the exhibits area. I made a great haul and will share all the titles with you in the Weekly Wrap-up on Friday.
Second, I have to share a bit about the keynote address. Our speaker was Will Manley, who is a retired librarian and author of books and magazine columns that highlight the humor librarians encounter in the line of duty. He told a lot of funny anecdotes, but I wanted to pass along some of the great reference questions shared by the audience and Mr. Manley. All of these are actual questions/requests posed by library patrons.
From the audience:
"I need a book on inventions that haven't been invented yet."
"I'd like a murder mystery where no one dies." [As ridiculous as it sounds, there actually is such a book. Can you name it?]
"I want a picture of Zeus." [seriously, an actual photograph]
From Mr. Manley:
"I need the number for 911."
Over the phone: "How do you say hello in sign language?"
"Why were so many Civil War battles fought in national parks?"
"I need some information on Malcolm the Tenth." [meaning Malcolm X, of course]
"My daughter needs to read an epic for tomorrow morning. Do you have any short epics?"
"Do you have an English translation of Hamlet?"
That's just a sampling. You should love your librarians just for keeping a straight face through all the ridiculous questions they receive.
Do you have any examples of crazy reference questions? Feel free to share!