This week's column is courtesy of Naioma Walberg, a reference librarian at our Parker Library. It captures wonderfully well just what happens at this vital service desk.
Librarian. . . Reference. . . Desk. . . nouns that bring up shuddering images of long forgotten term papers, dusty boring books and trying to find magazine articles in the endless shelves of the fungi green volumes of Readers Guide to Periodicals.
Librarians have been assembling some resources to assist our patrons in trying to make sense of the senseless.
First, I understand that there have been some scams related to "relief" agencies that in fact do not exist. This one, from the Red Cross, is real:
The library owns a graphic novel called "My War with Brian," by Ted Rall. It wounds me every time I read it. It's about a boy who got brutally bullied by another boy, all through junior high school. Repeatedly, the victim appealed to his teachers, his principal, and his parents. Nothing worked. Instead, he was left to his own devices, day after day.
A couple of weeks ago, I was having troubles with my Internet Service Provider. My e-mail "alias" (email@example.com) wasn't working. Over the course of 14 calendar days, I made three e-mail requests to their technical support line, and four phone calls. Each time I was most careful to provide my account information, the date at which the problem began, and what I'd tried to fix it.