Monday, June 22, 2015

The Guardian: Dear librarian: New York Public Library's quirkiest inquiries

By Marianne Tatepo | May 28, 2015

Libraries have gone through many changes in recent years, some more laudable than others. Earlier this week we looked at the reinvention of the library card. Our original spotlight was on London - but such was the response that we posted a second piece featuring some of the dozens of other colourful examples sent in by readers around the world.

Today, we cast a nostalgic eye back in time – to the days when readers regarded librarians as a cross between oracles, therapists and confessors, phoning in the most personal, complex or frankly dotty questions which were dutifully copied out, often in longhand. The New York Public Library has been publishing a cache of vintage question cards on its Instagram account and on Twitter via the hashtag #letmelibrarianthatforyou. Since we first reported on it back in January, the questions have kept on coming. Here are some of our favourites, revealing the many roles that the librarian has played in the public imagination.

The New York Library and libraries worldwide are not just churches for books, they are centres of information, interaction and integration. The NYPL’s queries service is still providing answers to those without the resources to look them up for themselves. You can view more from the NYPL Archives on their Instagram page.

To see more vintage question cards from NYPL, please visit The Guardian to read the full article.

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