Here’s a great question for your reference staff:

“What does the rest of the library staff know?”

Since arriving at NLC I’ve been meeting with different department heads, partially to get to know them personally, partially to get to know what they and their department do here, and partially for them to get to know what my skills are. Yesterday, I met with Lisa the head of Reference & ILL. At the end of our conversation she had one more question for me: “What else are you interested in or know a lot about?” At first this was an odd question but she quickly explained. The reference staff here likes to keep track of what other people in the building know in order to help with reference questions. For example, if there’s a baseball question it goes to the major ball fan in the building. Should they ever get a Dean Koontz question, or a question about a SF or horror author, they’ll probably head my way in the future.

The ultimate point is to know your available resources. (Hey, I think I wrote that back in 2000?) In some cases, your resources may be sitting right next to you or just down the hall.

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