10 Random Reference Questions (Day Two)

Was out on the Reference Desk covering a lunch break again today.  Instead of going by memory, I consciously made notes to myself about the questions I answered which I thought would be an interesting companion to yesterday’s post on the same topic

  1. The current time in Zurich, Switzerland
  2. Help printing an e-mail (our PAC’s only have Internet Explorer and so when people try to print attachments from Gmail, it always seems to be problematic.  Today was no exception and I ended up doing a massive workaround so he could get his print jobs)
  3. Another printer request – this time from a guitarist who wants to enlarge some tab from a guitar magazine as much as possible so he can read it better
  4. Request for the classified section of the paper
  5. Guest pass
  6. Retrieve a request for a Book Club in the Bag selection
  7. Probably the last twenty minutes of the hour I was scheduled on the desk (plus some time that bled over past when I was supposed to be there) was trying to help a patron track down a very specific copy of the Holy Bible that the library had.  I gave him phone numbers for every bookstore in town (Christian and secular) and he dialed them all without success.  He didn’t have a credit card but I did show him that the Bible edition he wanted was online through Amazon and ABEBooks although at what some might view as a steep price.  This is one of those frustrating reference questions – nobody locally had it, he wasn’t in a position to purchase it online but he badly wanted it (at one point, he did the math on what it would cost to stand at the photocopier and hand copy it page by page at $0.15/page.  I think it came out somewhere around $120 which, given the online price, might not actually be that bad of a deal.  Er, is it a copyright or a broken commandment if you photocopy an entire bible, originally from 1611 but re-printed in 1982.)

Comments 3

  1. John Betmanis wrote:

    Jason, I always look for hard-to-find books at Abe Books. I see that bible there for $3.99 plus $12 shipping.


    Posted 02 Aug 2013 at 8:04 am
  2. Steven Lloyd wrote:

    Here is is for 29 bucks on amazon.ca


    Posted 02 Aug 2013 at 8:50 am
  3. HeadTale wrote:


    You guys are going to put me out of a job!

    Just kidding – what I didn’t capture in my original post was that this patron was *very* specific that he wanted a copy of the exact edition that the library had.

    (I asked him why and he said there was something about how Jesus is portrayed in this particular edition which sets it apart from most other editions, even those based on the same original text. I’m nowhere near literate enough in this area to disagree so I just tried to help him find the exact book he wanted.)

    That’s why John’s link to a 2011 edition by Vonderzan and Steve’s link to a 2009 edition by Hendrickson weren’t going to make the cut for this person. He said he wanted the 1982 Thomas Nelson edition.

    And like I said, it was all moot anyhow. Even if I could’ve convinced him to consider a different edition from the same source text, he said he didn’t have a credit card so would have to find a place to buy it locally or try to set-up an Amazon/ABEBooks account using a pay-as-you-go credit card or something.

    Without saying too much more, I’ll leave off that you get *lots* of challenging patrons when you work in a downtown urban library. This was, easily, one of my most challenging of all-time! 😉

    Thanks for your suggestions though – truly appreciated!

    Posted 02 Aug 2013 at 12:14 pm
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