Askholes and the Reference Interview

Incredibly enough, I have been working as a librarian for ten years now and there are two thing that I have learned. Here they are:

 

When patrons ask a question, you must extract the real question. Patrons almost always have the wrong title, wrong author, wrong spelling, or do not know anything about what they are searching for or what they want.

 

Lots of time is wasted answering questions that were never asked. Following up on the first point, before you waste your time trying to answer the question asked, make sure it is the question that should have been asked.