Friday, June 10, 2011

Serendipity is Not Quantifiable

"Serendipity is Not Quantifiable." Tinfoil Raccoon / Rochelle Hartman.
Bloomington, IL: Tinfoil Raccoon, June 7th 2011.

"I got a reference question from a young man yesterday, the likes of which is not on the sheet of tracked reference questions. It was so simple that I was able to answer it off the top of my head. And it was so amazing that it made my heart nearly burst with joy. This is the first week of summer vacation, so we've had a lot of young people in the library. He looked to be high school-aged, but could have been in college. His question?  "Do you have a poetry section?" Since he was student-aged and a boy, I assumed this was a forced march for him, so I asked him if he was looking for something in particular--maybe even a particular poem (which I would have tried to Google for him). "No, I just want to browse."  Just. Want. To. Browse...Poetry?  I kept my cool. I probably smiled a little too broadly, but calmly directed him to 811 and let him do what libraries have let patrons do for decades: provide him with the non-commercial experience of leisurely browsing and discovery."