I Don’t Know, But I Can Find Out

by Kristen

Remember back in Kindergarten, when we were all taught to share? Share your toys, share your crayons, share everything except your cooties… Of course you do. Well, librarians will always have to remember that little tip. Share, share, share. Librarians share knowledge and resources on a daily basis, not only with eath other, but with patrons. Patrons come in and have something terribly pressing that they need to learn about. The truth? We don’t know everything about everything.  But… we don’t need to know everything about every topic. What we do need to know is a resource that can help us find the answers, whether it is a coworker, a librarian from another library, a book, or simply Google.


I have been working in libraries for almost three years, now. Whereas to me, this seems like a long time, compared to my coworkers and other library professionals, this is truly only a short amount of time. Although sometimes I would like to pretend that I put on a cap of knowledge and know every answer to every question, and say that all of the information I have ever helped patrons with, throughout this time, was my doing, it would be an entirely false statement. So I won’t even pretend that I knew everything. The best part about that? It’s okay!

Patrons come in and want to know which banks were open in Belding in 1903, who the best cardiac electrophysiologist in the world is, which type of geranium grows the quickest, how many rivers in Michigan connect to the Grand River… The list goes on and on. To tell you the truth, off of the top of my head, I don’t know the answer to any of the questions I just listed. However, I could find out the answer to each of them. (Except, perhaps not whom the best cardiac electrophysiologist in the world is; that’s partially an opinion-based question. *Sigh.*)

I think the most valuable knowledge I have learned, so far, is what I have learned from my coworkers. Whenever I have been stumped by a question, I know I can always look to my peers for help. Between all of us, and our trust in Google (ha!), we can come up with an answer.

So, the next time you are stumped, stop by and hit us with the hardest question you can think of; it’s what we are here for!  And if we don’t know the answer, we can find it!


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