Monday, July 23, 2007

Libraries, Gaming in

I'm attending the 1st Annual ALA Gaming Conference in Chicago. I'll be wearing a navy blazer and an ascot (today...not everyday, don't be so literal.) Say hello if you see me. But no autographs, please.

Yesterday was interesting. Great speakers - especially Scott Nicholson and Eli Neiburger.

Note to librarians: If you are going to wear Birkenstocks, lose the socks.

Moral of this blog: I adore Chicago.

Friday, July 20, 2007

You?, What are

hotty mc hottensteinAnd I was suddenly on gaurd. I am often asked questions at the reference desk that I take several moments to process:

"How long does chlamydia take to clear up?"
"Will you proof read my resume?"
"How much does a new car cost?"

But this one got me. "What are you?"

Let me build the scene for you.

I was standing at the reference desk, looking pert (as per usual), when a white haired gentleman approached the desk.

I was looking the part of the dapper young man, soft green shirt - green, navy and white polka dotted neck tie. I could go on.

He came up to the desk and said to me "What are you?"

I thought for a minute. Should I just go ahead and reveal that I am a celebrity librarian? I supposed he meant my position within the organization. Often, because I am male, and young, I am mistaken for paraprofessional staff.

And you know how the public likes to reserve their big questions for the librarians.

So, I replied, quite confidently - sure I had the answer he was looking for "I am a Librarian."

He looked confused. "No, no" he muttered while shaking his head in the negative. He tried again "I mean, what are you?"

Isn't it quite obvious what I am? A well dressed, 30 year old, homosexual, Jewish librarian. But I can't say that, right?

Thankfully, my Library School ™ training included the Reference Interview.

And so I asked "I'm not sure what you are asking. What am I? My profession?"

which I already knew he wasn't looking for.

To which he replied "Your background...." Mind you, this is his first question as he approaches the desk.

So, I told him my background "Kent State University." I was proud saying it too.

Kent Read, Kent Write, Kent State!

"All those shootings" he said. I assured him it happened long before I attended.

"But you still haven't answered my question. What are you?" So, I had to say it again "Sir, I am not sure what you are asking."

"Ethnically" he said.

I've never been asked that. So gentle readers, I told him. My family is from Eastern France - Alsace.

And that, dear reader, was the entire reference question.

Moral of this blog: Always end each reference transaction with "Did that completely answer your question?" or "Now get away from me." The choice is yours.