For Reference Librarians…No Two Days the Same

OXFORD, Ohio — “Do you have the latest Danielle Steel book?”

“Who is the district manager at Kroger?”

“What is the weather like in New York?”

No two questions are alike for a reference librarian, meaning each day on the job is a drastically different affair.

Rebecca Smith, branch manager at the Oxford Lane Library, said in her 10 years of working she has heard just about every question under the sun.

“There is no typical day for me,” Smith said. “People will come in and ask their question and it’s not always clear what their information needs are. Sometimes knowing the question is just as difficult as finding the answer.”

In the age of Google and Wikipedia, is there as much demand for a reference librarian? That is one of the few questions Smith can’t answer.

“We’re still used, just in a different way,” Smith said. “The amount of homework questions for kids has decreased and we’re not sure if it’s because teachers are focused on a more specific curriculum or if students are just using Google for everything.”

Middletown (OH) Journal.