Google, Shmoogle. Reference Librarians Are Busier Than Ever is a post appearing in the Wall Street Journal. It places a much deserved spotlight on the efforts of reference librarians like Sherry Yadlosky who works at the Carnegie Library in Pittsburg answering phone questions ranging from “who would be pitching for the Dodgers … in the final game of the World Series” to “whether bar codes on store merchandise contained the Mark of the Beast, a symbol discussed in the Book of Revelation.” But the article doesn’t stop there. It goes on to note the question answering exploits of reference librarians from places as diverse as Atlanta, Des Moines, Cleveland, Sacramento, and Silicon Valley as they field all types of inquiries.
All in all, James R. Hagerty the author of the article gives librarians and their patrons a shout-out as he reminds his readers that “even in the internet age, reference librarians still dig up answers that require extra effort, searching old books, microfilm and paper files, looking for everything from owners of long-defunct firms to 19th-century weather reports.”