how not to conduct a reference interview
a group of six mlis students made this puppet show to illustrate what not to do at a reference interview.
1) cat in that hat type poem
2) withholding judgement
3) misspellings/mishearings - "oranges & peaces = orgin of species"
4) the annoying patron
Tags: library reference interview
Added: 6 years ago
[scene opens with a "Cat in the Hat" handpuppet speaking directly to the camera and reciting a poem]
Good morning class, how do you do? We've got some reference tips for you!
We are here to demonstrate
The proper way to mediate
When a user seems perplexed
We'll show you what you should do next.
Be nice, be kind
They're in a bind!
And only you can help them find
The thing they need to ease their mind.
So listen closely when the speak
Don't start to search, don't start to seek!
Even if they take a week!
Hear them now, and smile (don't pout!)
Don't grimace at their query,
Even if their convoluted thoughts may make you weary.
Once you understand exactly what the user needs
Here's how you should present your information leads.
Don't disappear and leave them there to wonder where you've gone,
Tell them you're off to find their stuff and will be back anon.
If you have to go online
Tell them what you have in mind.
Don't look down and start to type
You'll make the user yell and yipe
If they don't know you're helping them
To find the perfect info gem!
Once you have done all you can to help reduce their ask
Tell them if they need more help, you'll help them with their task.
You then will close the interview in a positive way
The user will be willing to return to you one day!
Then you'll know you are a professional success
And you'll be thankful that you've earned your pricey MLS!
[cut to a "Winnie the Pooh" handpuppet speaking to the rabbit librarian]
WINNIE: Hi, can you help me?
WINNIE: I wanna know about bears.
RABBIT: Uh, what about 'em?
WINNIE: Well, actually, panda bears.
RABBIT: Uh ... Well, waddaya want, like, pictures?
RABBIT: Uh, waddaya want? Like, stories about pandas?
WINNIE: Mmm, not really.
RABBIT: Well, what is it you want, then?
WINNIE: Well, I just started dating a panda bear, and my dad doesn't approve because he's a different species. I just wanna know if he's a panda or a bear! I'm a bear, he's a bear! We can date, right?
RABBIT: Alright, hold on here. Lemmee look.
[he starts typing on his computer]
RABBIT: Alright. I, I got some bad news for ya.
RABBIT: Alright, first of all ... A panda's not a bear.
RABBIT: The hell is wrong with you? This is a Christian state we're in here! This is illegal in this state, I want you out of my library!
[Winnie begins crying and runs off]
[cut to three white mice handpuppets speaking to an Eeyore handpuppet]
MICE: Hi, can you help us?
EEYORE: Sure, what can I do for you?
MICE: We need to find out about ... hymens!
EEYORE: Uh, well, we have lots of good books for children who have a question like yours ...
EEYORE: Follow me ...
[a hand reaches in and places a "book" (i.e. a piece of paper) on the counter]
EEYORE: Okay, here you go. The sex education section.
[the mice look at the book]
MICE: Hmm ... Eww, gross! Naked people!
EEYORE: Uh, yeah sure ... Isn't that what you wanted?
EEYORE: Uh, wait a minute ... Spell "hymen."
MICE: "H-Y-M-N" ... "Hymen."
EEYORE: Oh, okay ... Follow me to the religion section.
[cut to a clown handpuppet at the reference desk, as a line of patrons are waiting to ask questions]
LAMB: So, I have two questions. My cat just had kittens. Seven kittens, you know what kittens are, right?
CLOWN: Uh, yeah.
LAMB: Well, seven itty-bitty kittens, the tiniest kittens you've ever seen!
CLOWN: Mm, uh huh.
LAMB: And I need seven cat names, very special cat names!
CLOWN: I think you can find regular and special cat names in the pet section.
LAMB: Oh, I didn't like any of those names in the books!
CLOWN: You could try the baby names book ...
LAMB: No no no no! I want cat names, not baby names! I want names like "Fluffy" or ... uh, "Jo-Jo Coco" or something!
[the other patrons in line begin to get agitated]
CLOWN: Uh, did you try the internet? There's a lot of good websites on pet names.
LAMB: Mmm, but I had to uh, reconfigure my browser for the AOL connection to Eudora ... Uh, I need a proxy to get in!
CLOWN: Why are you using a proxy to get onto the library? The computers are right over there.
LAMB: [pause] Hurry up! I didn't have to use a proxy here? I'm already on the bus stop, and my destination is so that ... If we were talking hypothetically, I was waiting for the bus, and then the train came, and I didn't even need the bus? Is that what you're saying?
CLOWN: What are you talking about? Oh ... Oh, okay, I've got the perfect book for you right over here.
[the clown librarian goes off camera, then comes back with a giant book with "Cat" for the title]
CLOWN: Oh yeah, this is the perfect one. You're gonna love this one, heh heh heh ... Yeah, here you go.
[he slams the lamb handpuppet with the book]
CLOWN: Yeah, how do you like that one?!
[the other patrons jump in and begin beating up the lamb]
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