I just came from my final exam for my youth services reference course, it is good to have it over with so I can focus on the summer reading club. The questions focused on all the typical things that such reference classes do: electronic databases, reference interviews, and different types of reference materials. However, having worked the past couple of months at the reference desk in the youth services department, I know that this is really a small part of the REAL questions that we get asked.
Here are is a small sampling of the most typical information needs that people had when they came into the children’s department:
*I’m looking for my daughter/mother/father/son/small Martian
*Where are the bathrooms/drinking fountain/computers/dvds?
*Have you seen my bag/headphones/jacket?
*Do you have a copy of Diary of a Wimpy Kid/The Clique/Twilight?
The only question on the exam that came close to this was about the three types of reference interviews–saying that directional questions are not part of this–I had to add that they are probably among the most common received.
What are your most commonly asked questions?