This post would be more truthfully tagged with “what I’m listening to,” because even though I was still in a long line to get a print copy of “This Book is Overdue,” I was able to check out the audiobook version.
Great book by the way, mostly because its one of the first library books (books about libraries) I’ve read from the reader or patrons perspective, not the librarians.
Anyway, this morning, the section on Radical Reference struck me. Aside from the obvious political overtones of serving a protest, the idea of putting reference service where and in front of who really needed it struck me as brilliant and shockingly obvious.
I’ve often had this idea in my head of a local reference blog, writing about interesting specific information requests (without identifying the patron), interesting local information sources. Or, taking a local debate and providing links to reference sources to help inform the debate.
The list here provided a few links to specific local library reference blogs, but nothing even close to what I had in mind.
Radical reference is a great example of the public back and forth that builds better answers than a private exchange.
There are already a lot of good reference blogs that don’t have a local focus, so the real power of a local library reference blog wouldn’t be giving links to general reference databases. Not saying that couldn’t be important, I think the local flavor would be invaluable.