Danika’s post that asked how well we would do on the bookseller’s quiz show got me thinking about some of the best questions I was asked when I worked as a reference librarian. Anyone who knows anything about libraries knows that all patron interactions are private and that librarians never, ever share information about those who ask questions or seek advice. Anonymity is of the utmost importance.
That said, I’ve been out of libraries now for a while and feel confident enough that all of these questions are generic and rendered anonymously enough as to not be pinpointed to any individual. I thought it would be fun to compile a handful of the best, most unique, and most head-scratching questions I was asked as a reference librarian. READ MORE: Five Great Questions I Was Asked As A Reference Librarian |
A Quick Guide to Avoiding Common Writing Errors | Harvard Business Review
You’re looking at an e-mail you just wrote, and you’re not sure whether you have the right word: Do you want affect or effect? Further or farther? Gray or grey? Getting it wrong can make you look bad — people do judge you by the way you write — but you also don’t have all day to look up words. It helps to have an easy reference for the basics, bookmark some resources, and learn how to choose your battles.
The Essential Guide to Crafting a Work Email | Harvard Business Review
You, like me, probably rattle off emails quickly, all day (and sometimes all night) long. And that means the people receiving your emails are doing exactly the same thing. Whether this is good or bad for us, generally speaking, is an open question. But until we all get better at dealing with email overflow, how do you make sure the ones you send get noticed – and for reasons other than an unfortunate Freudian typo?
The LA Times Trolls Innocent Teachers | TechCrunch
The once-respectable LA Times is leveraging its dwindling platform to attack individual teachers under the guise of data transparency. The editorial board won a court case allowing them to use a highly contentious, self-designed algorithm to rank the best and worst teachers in the Los Angeles Unified School District. Neither the suicide of one of the shamed teachers, nor the widespread criticism of the statistical methods have aroused the editorial board’s better judgment.
For generations, including this one, women in science have remained underrepresented and underrecognized. On Oct. 15, 2013, from 3 p.m. to 8:30 p.m, people who want to change that can gather at a Wikipedia “edit-a-thon” to increase the representation of women in science and technology. The event marks Ada Lovelace Day, named for the 19th-century female scientist who pioneered computational programming.
Quora bills itself as nothing less than “your best source of knowledge”—not your dad, not your librarian, not Wikipedia. The company, spawned by two righteous Facebook alumni (one since ousted), has raised tens of millions from investors who think it can back this claim up.
Quotable: “One of the best ways for aspiring reference librarians to succeed in the job market is to have a clear understanding of job expectations, to develop the necessary skills and proficiencies, and be able to demonstrate and discuss those abilities on their resume and in job interviews. In this column, I share the results of a survey of academic reference librarians indicating what skills and knowledge they believe is important in the field right now.”