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A reference question

February 17, 2012

Every once in a while our library is greeted with a great reference question.  Has it happened to you yet?  It isn’t generally anything to do with research per say, but it takes some digging to find this answer.  Sometimes it’s a student; they have stumbled into an area of their field that they find interesting or feel passionately about.  Usually, it’s a faculty member; a professional still working in the field that has a question they need for a client or patient and suddenly they remember – “Oh!  I have access to a library.”  Whoever it is that has the question though, assisting them in finding the answer is exhilarating.  Such is the experience from earlier today.

We have a faculty member that was actually a student at one time.  This fabulous women has been working in the allied health field for many years when she decided she wanted to get addition certification in her field.  Now she teaches phlebotomy courses and helps secure externships for our current students.  She came into the library yesterday looking for some pictures to show a couple she is working with.  This couple needs to make a decision about a particular surgery option.  In the interest of privacy I won’t disclose any more info but we really needed to spend some time thinking about this because the couple was a little older and not much into technology.  We scoured through encyclopedias, illustrated dictionaries, and regular old books looking for something that would really show the differences between these two procedures.  It was FABULOUS!!  I remember saying to her (as I pulled another volume off the shelf) this is what research use to be like.  🙂

So what about you?  Have you been asked a challenging reference question at your college?  What was it, how did you answer?  Tell us how much fun you had answering it.

BTW – We actually ended up deciding on a video for her to show the couple.

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