Answers to Questions at the Reference Desk
Librarians respond to a wide range of queries from patrons.
This week’s column was submitted by Cathy Friedman of Reference Services at the Des Plaines Public Library.
It’s summer and the parks are busy, the pools are full and the library is hopping too. Of course, it is a great place to escape the heat, but this past Sunday there were people waiting in line, grocery style, for the adult reference staff.
The Adult Reference Desk is your resource for requests as simple as how can I get a driver’s license to how do I make an upside down tart called a Tarte Tatin?
Given that the library theme this quarter is “Work. Learn. Play. Taste.” and the summer reading program is “Reading is So Delicious,” here’s a taste of what people were asking about.
Patron’s question: I’m writing a report for a class on the trends in the painting industry, and the viability of starting a painting business in the Chicago area. It’s due tomorrow.
Librarian’s answer: The American Coatings Association, the Chicago Paint and Coatings Association, the U.S. Census, and the library’s database, Reference USA.
Patron’s question: Can I get a driver’s license if I don’t speak English very well?
Librarian’s answer: Secretary of State publication The Rules of the Road. The requirements to get a license are listed and the print publication is available in English, Spanish and Polish. The written test is available in languages other than English depending on the community.
Patron’s question: What are the birthdates of Queen Elizabeth’s children, Charles, Anne and Andrew?
Patron’s question: I won a Kindle Fire. Can you show me how to use it?
Patron’s question: How can I find the cemetery where a relative was buried?
Patron’s question: Where can I find a book about fingernails?
Librarian’s answer: This was not a request about nail art. Skin Deep, an A –Z of Skin Disorders.