Tuesday, October 18, 2005

If You Don't Understand It...

One of the SBDC advisors called last week with a question. It happened that his client e-mailed him with a question about glass, but it didn't jibe with the rest of the question, which was about pottery and dinnerware. So he wrote back to the client and asked if perhaps she meant glassWARE; indeed, she did. The question is conveyed to the library and everybody's happy.

Let's imagine if the advisor hadn't taken the initiative to clarify the query. The Research Network finds information about glass, sends it to the advisor, who passes it on to the client. The client is dissatisfied; that's NOT what she wanted. The beleaguered advisor has to contact the Research Network to ask them to redo that part of the question, which is frustrating to the librarian who wants to get it right the first time. It becomes a waste of time for all involved.

Here's a good rule of thumb: If you get a question e-mailed or faxed to you, please read it to make sure it makes contextual sense to you. If the advisor working with the client doesn't understand the question, it's a good chance that the reference librarian won't understand it either.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

if it looks like a duck, sounds like a duck and walks like a duck, its a librarian!