Stump the Librarian

You can’t judge a book by its cover … or can you?

Kirsten Harris writes: I have worked in bookstores and libraries ever since I was a college student. Right from the beginning, it became obvious that a big part of the job was acting as a giant human brain to direct people to the item or information they seek.

Some patrons are very specific and know exact titles, authors or ISBN numbers to aid the search. The majority, at least, know the subject they are looking for, though that is not always the case. For others, it is even more vague.

I will give you a sample of a hypothetical conversation similar to one I might encounter multiple times in any given day.

“Hello, how can I help you today?”

“Um, I need help looking for a book.”

“Great! You have the right place! What exactly can I help you find?”

“Well, I think the book has a black cover, with red lettering, and it might have been a thriller.” The patron hesitates unsurely.

“Was it recently published?” In my head at this point I’m thinking of dozens of books that might apply.

“Well, I’m not sure. A friend told me about it and said it was really good.”

Read the rest of the entry at Coulee News (LaCrosse County WI).