Another week of new experiences at the reference desk!
This week I worked/will work two more evening reference shifts, running the reference office myself. While not ordinarily too busy, during last night’s shift I did have two patrons from the Legal Bibliography course (which I took last Spring) come in for help finding the correct source to answer one of their assignment questions. Luckily, I took thorough notes during that course, a strategy that helps me commit facts to memory better, and I was able to direct them to the best available source to answer the question.
I also had a phone-in reference question that required me to scour the Indiana Code to find an answer. It was a two-part question, and while I was able to find a direct answer to one part, the other had to be inferred by utilizing two separate code sections, an excellent lesson in understanding that not every question has a definitive answer! Despite the fact that there was only a direct statutory answer to one part of this question, the patron seemed satisfied and grateful for the assistance.
Finally, I continue work on a couple of ongoing projects with one of the reference staff. Initial feedback on the projects have been quite positive, which, for a long-term project like this, is very reaffirming!
Lesson learned this week: While this does not happen often, not all reference questions have answers, and others have indirect, inferred answers instead.