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.”
Tom is originally from Brooklyn N.Y but has spent his entire professional career in South Carolina, most recently as Head of Reference Services at the College of Charleston. As part of the Against the Grain and Charleston Conference team, he serves as the associate editor of the print ATG as well as the co-editor of the webpage. Tom’s conference duties include coordinating the Penthouse Suite interviews as well as the conference poster sessions.
He received his MLS from the University of Buffalo, SUNY and a second master’s in public administration from the College of Charleston and the Univ. of South Carolina. His wife Carol and he live in downtown Charleston and she is an artist and a tour guide offering historic walking tours of the city.