Refer Madness: The Terminator of Ghent

Refer Madness spotlights strange, intriguing, or otherwise noteworthy questions I encounter at the library reference desk. A gentleman called the desk with a pretty simple question: What was the release date of Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines? Because of my prodigious ability to remember useless trivia (film-related especially), I knew it was 2003. But he wanted the specific release date,… Read more Refer Madness: The Terminator of Ghent

Each’s Owned

Pictured is the haul ($8 total) from a recent afternoon browsing used bookstores, which I do once in a while, when my time is open and therefore my self-discipline is weak. But I didn’t feel bad about getting more Stuff this time, because I’m coming to something approaching terms with it. I love books, movies, and… Read more Each’s Owned

Man Bookers

This New York Times story about all-male book clubs was not as inflammatory as I knew it would be taken in certain spheres. It turns out (wait for it…) some men are in book clubs just for men. The reaction from one of the groups to the NYT story is worth reading for important context that didn’t get into… Read more Man Bookers

Refer Madness: Librarians Advisory

Refer Madness spotlights strange, intriguing, or otherwise noteworthy questions I encounter at the library reference desk. If you’re a librarian, it’s likely you’re expected to provide readers advisory. (Or is it reader’s?) Every librarian has his or her own area of expertise and blind spots, but whether through direct knowledge or other resources, you’re supposed to be able to give patrons who ask… Read more Refer Madness: Librarians Advisory

Refer Madness: RefUSA! RefUSA!

Refer Madness spotlights strange, intriguing, or otherwise noteworthy questions I encounter at the library reference desk. “It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.” Though John Adams wrote this passage about Independence Day, I’d say… Read more Refer Madness: RefUSA! RefUSA!

Refer Madness: Pole Stars

Refer Madness spotlights strange, intriguing, or otherwise noteworthy questions I encounter at the library reference desk.  Summer is finally (almost, sorta) here. “Bees they’ll buzz / Kids’ll blow dandelion fuzz…” The AC is on at the library, but at the ref desk it’s still a bit muggy. The perfect time for this patron question: Do you have any books about polar explorers?… Read more Refer Madness: Pole Stars