Sunday, January 11, 2009

Lost in translation

I like to think of us* librarians as information treasure hunters. On any given day I can get reference questions ranging from topics like running a small business to giraffe anatomy. I must then use my research powers to coerce answers from the universe. Trust me, it's that hard.

Sometimes, however, understanding the question can be more difficult than answering it. For example, you know how young children can have a difficult time pronouncing r's and l's and what should sound like "reading" sounds like "weeding" and "older" becomes "odor"? Well I had a sweet young boy come up to the reference desk yesterday looking for two movies..."saw one" and "saw two." Being the friendly and patient librarian that I am* I tried to help him sound it out.

Me: "I'm sorry, what was that? Sar?"

Boy: "No."

Me: "Sal?"

Boy: "No."

Boss, sitting next to me, asks boy: "Are you looking for Saw I and Saw II?"

Boy: "Yes."

Boss: "They're horror movies. Try searching the catalog under s-a-w."

Me: "Oh, right."

It turns out this sweet, innocent young boy did not have a speech impediment at all and in fact likes scary grownup movies. Yep, what I do is hard work.

*No, I'm not "technically" a librarian yet because I don't have my Master's, but it's virtually impossible to tell the difference based on appearances alone.


Cindy said...

I guess a librarian's life is the same here or there! Keep loving it! xo C

Jessica said...

If, after reading this post, anyone out there is now considering joining the librarian ranks, maybe this will help: