Has Reading Helped Librarians in Other Aspects of the Job?

The following are answers to the question: has this reading helped you in other aspects of your job? Reference librarians at North American public and academic libraries were asked to answer this question as part of a study of librarian reading habits.


My reading of newspapers has helped me to be a well rounded and knowledgeable person. I can hold a reference dialogue with a patron and am able to intelligently know what he is talking about on a wide range of topics. This gives me a reference point with which to start. If you understand a topic, you can more easily find information on that topic.

Has allowed me to anticipate information needs of patrons. For example, when the Clinton impeachment was going on, we made a printout of the Starr Report for public viewing. We also familiarized ourselves with impeachment law sources so we could quickly direct people to the information.

It has a general effect on my book selection decisions, I think.

By recalling what paper or magazine and the date the article was in.

I think the reference librarians are interested in the world around them and remember they have at least heard of subjects and topics when they do collection development. Perhaps this refers too much to the reference question process again, but I think that good reference librarians are always cataloguing things they read/see/hear in ways that group topics into general areas. This means that when they get asked questions about subjects they are not really familiar with, they can respond more appropriately and faster. Another big service area in public libraries is reader's advisory. Reading book reviews enhances this aspect of one's job also.

Reading computer magazines has allowed me to stay up with new technology. Also, it allows me to anticipate future technology purchases in the library, which helps with budgeting. Yes. Reading reviews of materials in the newspapers helps me with collection development.

Yes. Reading reviews of materials in the newspapers helps me with collection development.

Newsweek's discussions about new books has helped me buy materials for the library to meet patron's needs.

Generally, it enables one to be better informed and well rounded.

Helps me in collection development and readers advisory. I am frequently asked to recommend new fiction and I use book reviews from trade magazines and the NY Times.

I have been able to ask more intelligent questions of my doctor during health care at meetings regarding computers and telecommunications because I knew some of the more recent happenings.

Keeps me up to date on current events and helps me in all areas of my work.

I think reading newspapers and magazines is important in giving me general knowledge of what's going on in the world. It keeps me informed of local issues, state and national issues and familiar with names of important people. It is part of being educated and helps me to understand patron questions.

Keeping abreast of community events. We often provide display space in the library for special events as a partnership with community groups.

Trends and influences in world affairs that may affect library missions, goals or purposes. Usually it's the technological advances that are on the periphery of entering mainstream society that's prevalent in the literature.

It has helped me keep up on library trends in technology. Yes, besides helping to answer reference questions, I have been able to use my reading of these sources in ordering new material for our reference collection.

I am not sure how to answer that -- that is my work to answer and connect patrons with the information. If we include collection building the answer is yes. You learn what will be of use in the library collection.

Yes, in addition to helping with reference questions, it keeps me informed a little as to what might be topics of interest to my patrons to help me order materials.

Book reviews for genre literature. I use Romantic Times for selection of romance titles most frequently.

The library in Minneapolis was attacked badly by the WCCO news team about pornography in the library. This woke many of us up. We followed the continuing saga and learned what steps to take. It also affected all of us because new legislation was passed regarding looking at pornography on the Internet in the library. We then had to review our policy on computer use and make changes.

Reading newspapers and magazines can help with ideas for day to day library services. It has helped in budgeting, booking buying, and marketing.

It keeps me abreast of new publications and/or books.

I teach computer classes to the public on how to find specific information on the Internet. I often find reviews of websites in popular magazines that help me prepare for classes on topics such as Cooking and Recipes.

I read the New York Times cover to cover every morning, and in general it helps to be aware of what's going on.

As the Library Director, I deal with government relations issues, particularly local government. Reading local papers keeps me up to date on the Municipal Administration that is always in the news. My office also assists local government by frequently providing reprints of articles for use of the Mayor, Township Administrator and other staff in their offices.

Not really other than being knowledgeable about current events in the community to discuss in conversation among staff.

I have book selection responsibilities. Staying current with popular reading tastes is important to me. For example, Oprah's picks, best sellers, etc.

Reading newspapers allow informal discussions with co-workers and patrons.

In meetings I attend I can participate better knowing that I am more knowledgeable about certain subjects. Also, I have more confidence in doing my job better.

I can keep up with issues facing other libraries and how they are being handled and make my decision on how I would handle them if they arose.

Newspapers are used in a class assignment teaching 6th graders that there is more to research than using the encyclopedia. Students are required to pick a nation and find articles on that nation.

I often order books based on televised topics and author discussions.

Just an awareness of civic happenings, local people in the news, special programs in the area, such as the Tulsa Ballet or the French paintings being displayed in Tulsa at the Philbrook Museum.

Yes, I read and read often. Reading affects and influences every part of my life. I live in a community where 43% of the people have not graduated from high school and are illiterate. I used to have people volunteer in the library and they would scare me when I would find post-it notes on the shelves with ABC's on them because these goodhearted people did not have the literacy skills and they used the post-it notes as reminders of how to shelve the books. That was scary to me, but it drove the point home of how many people out there do not have literacy skills. I make sure that I read because most of the people in my county do not. They come and ask me because I am the first person they see when they walk in the library. I had one person come in asking to find out about a woman named Pearl Harbor. I took her to the shelves and told her that she would find Pearl Harbor in those books without making reference to the fact that Pearl was not a woman. In the community where I live, most people do not know how to access information, prove or disprove any information because they cannot read.

Helps me to answer questions about the community.

Reading book reviews helps in collection development book selection. Also, reading this material helps identify or confirm social trends that may affect demand for books.

Reading provides ideas as to public trends and interest which can be used to set up book exhibit themes of timely interest to the public, initiate new and customized services, and improve procedures. For example, we set up a special small business collection in our reference room due to the profusion of small business cropping up in the community as documented in our local newspapers. We have increased the use of quicker services, such as fax, in view of articles in the press.

I read book reviews in local papers and am able to have on order some of the books that patrons read about and want to check out. Also, reading about computers has kept me up-to-date on new equipment that is available that I might want to get for the library.

Reading a variety of publications helps me to place things in a broader context. It helps me to pick up on trends so I can better plan programs that will be relevant and popular with our public.

As I mentioned above, they help in reader's advisory, and they also help in collection development. Collection development is fairly obvious in that I read a large number of reviews in newspapers and magazine, but also I frequently will find a book mentioned in an article on current events and proceed from there to find a review and then to purchase. For instance, I read a discussion of certain trends in globalization in the Economist, which mentioned Daniel Yergen's book, The Commanding Heights. Based on Yergen's reputation, the discussion in the Economist, and review I was able to find I purchased the book for the library. Under other circumstances, I may not have been aware of it. With reader's advisory, again book review information comes into play, but plain awareness also comes into play. I had a patron who was looking to read something "Nader-esque". We didn't have any current books to fit the description, and he had read a couple of the older ones. I recommended that he read New Perspectives Quarterly or the Utne Reader. Having read both myself, and from other reading in other magazines having an idea of what "Nader-esque" might mean, I created a regular reader of both those magazines.

Of course reading magazines, etc. helps. Learning by reading affects one's entire life. For example, it helps me relate to a patron who is looking for book on seasonal affective disorder when I have just read an article on this subject. I know the gist of their problem and can deal with it more empathetically. This is not to say that I am an expert, but I know enough to know that it's a medical and psychological problem. Reading extensively and thoroughly also helps when writing Quiz Bowl questions, particularly the Current Events category. Magazines like Smithsonian help, too.

Wow, of course it has helped for reader's advisory because even if you don't read the book if you read the review that counts. Reading about trends in our culture (like we are more visual every year, so I don't get so surprised by lowering circulation numbers) to knowing the illiteracy rate in your neighborhood, so when people forget their glasses you may be sensitive to the fact that they need information. Knowledge is never wasted. Serendipitous things come up.

Students who are looking for ideas for school projects can benefit from suggestions that staff may give concerning current topics.

Last year three individuals died within weeks of each other and their families specified that in lieu of flowers people could donate to the library. No one called me about it. Thank heavens I had read the paper so I knew what was going on.

As a library director, it is important that I follow state, national and local news that affects libraries, particularly public libraries. I rely on the paper for local news of that sort.

One of my other major duties is collection development. I can't even begin to count the number of times that newspapers or magazines have alerted me to new books that are coming out that the regular selection tools have either missed or are terribly late in reviewing.

Yes, I've gotten references to useful web sites this way, plus information about new books the library might want to purchase or at least that I might want to read. Useful background or current-events information that may be kept at the reference desk for potential reference questions, such as upcoming entertainment events, where to go for tax advice at tax time. That sort of thing. Plus articles in the daily paper about issues such as Internet porn and libraries are certainly very useful for librarians to see because that's what the patrons will see and might be asking about.

With current events or fast changing, fugitive or volatile information, it is hard to stay ahead of an inquisitive public, but w must try.

Many of the professional growth answers are connected with local information. The librarians think that their knowledge of the community they work in is increased and therefore, their jobs and professions are enhanced because of it.

Of course! It is an integral part of your personality and provides you with the capability of being conversant with the culture and become an educated knowledgeable person. Helps exceedingly well in collection development. I read an article in the New Yorker about adoption of Romanian children and went out and bought the book mentioned in the article. I read about Bryn Terfyl in Opera News and bought that CD for the collection. And on and on. You are surveying an OLD librarian here.

Reading articles on ergonomic designed furniture helped to design our new reference desk.

Yes, I use periodicals for children's activities and discussion groups.

I use knowledge gained from reading newspapers and magazines to assist in my purchase of reference materials, non-fiction books, etc. I also use such knowledge in helping patrons access websites for information and in making decisions about technology, subscriptions, etc.

I assign the subject headings for our local history file of newspaper articles. I am new to this geographic area and find this assignment helps with local interest questions.

I am responsible for our files on counties, and my readings in Economist, Islands, Atlantic, and Smithsonian have given me the additional lore to be up to date in this regard.

Assists in material selection by making me more aware of current events, trends, and popular culture items that the public may be interested in.

They help a lot in collection development. I order both books and videos, and reading book and movie reviews in the magazines and newspapers complements the library selection tools.

It gives me familiarity with names. Politicians, world leaders, authors. It helps me with place names, countries and cities.

I had to discuss with a parent a situation wherein his minor child had accessed inappropriate material on the Internet. Although our security level is high, I was able to explain why reading patrons' computer information is illegal, and that not every site can be blocked regardless of security level. Having read information on this subject, I could state my case with some authority.

It helps in making suggestions of materials to order. I am not personally responsible for ordering at this point since I work on a very part-time basis, but if I have heard of something new, say in the field of medicine or astronomy, and then I see a good review of something related to the subject, I will recommend that the appropriate librarian in charge of ordering those materials consider the item.

Yes, in program development. Print and online due diligence help in finding authors, program speakers, conference leaders, etc.

It has helped me to be able to ask the patron the right questions and to get specific information that they are asking for. Sometimes, they only need very general information, which I would use a different source than if they wanted very specific information on the same subject. Does the information need to be very current? Is it important that it be from a reliable source? If a student is doing a biography on Liszt, does he need to include a picture, a piece of his music?

I teach a weekly class we call Wired Wednesdays where we help people learn about the Internet and how to use it. Reading print newspapers helps me know what others may be familiar with and we often visit online newspapers to show the class how to access them and what information is available online.

They help in collection development by providing information in areas that we do not have coverage, thus indicating a need to purchase materials, and by actually reviewing potential acquisitions.

A wide range of reading habits helps in answering questions a lot because I am generally more aware of the concept or event and know to ask patrons educated questions. A most recent question had to do with afghans. The afghan blankets, not dogs and I knew the answer because of a local knitting meeting I had seen in the local newspaper.

Yes, reading news periodicals helps me answer questions in other ways. For example, spelling. I can usually remember the spelling of tricky proper names that I've seen in the news. It also helps in the generation of appropriate alternate subject headings under which to search. Also, news reading helps me think of specific examples for students who have been asked to write a paper on an abstract theme, such as case studies on physician-assisted suicide or lack of objectivity in the media.

It helps me in book selection as I select reference, adult fiction, and adult non-fiction. Knowing the latest trends helps especially in non-fiction.

I also search and verify new titles to be ordered. Reading online or print magazines have helped keep me informed about what is new and upcoming, as patrons sometimes don't have the complete or the correct information when asking for materials.

I am often asked for book reviews and I use the information from magazines and newspapers to guide my acquisitions. I can discuss current issues and I am aware of things that happen locally and provincially.

Reading newspapers and magazines makes me aware of what's happening, therefore, enabling me to select titles and websites that benefit our patrons the most.

Knowing which newspapers have regular columns on dance, say. That the Globe has a Saturday book review section, as does the Sunday New York Times. Knowing that the important city information is put in the local paper on Saturdays. Knowing that the upcoming cultural events are always in Thursday's issue. Knowing which columnists to read if you want to know about Toronto urban issues, etc.

Sure, by reading the daily paper and being aware of local news, I can hunt for particular news stories as search examples when I teach research classes. It is much easier to search for a known news item or story as a demonstration than to manufacture a topic.

It just generally helps me to know what is going n in the local area. It makes me feel informed. It prepares me for questions that I think may be asked in the next few days. Also, some of these magazines and newspapers publish book reviews that I use for collection development purposes. The magazines that are routed to me which correspond to my specific assigned subject areas help me in the sense that they inform me of hot topics, underlying problems, and new trends in those particular fields. I keep this knowledge in mind when I'm making decisions and purchasing items in these assigned areas.

Especially in small libraries, patrons look to the staff to know what is going on in the community, nation, and world. Many think that the librarian knows everything. We don't, but we know where to find it. Patrons like to chat while they're checking out materials and they seem to have more confidence in the librarians who know what is going on and are well read. The patrons are more apt to ask their reference questions of the librarians who are knowledgeable about things.

I do a lot of selection for the young adult materials, so I sometimes read YA magazines to keep current on what and who is 'in'. In that way, I have a better idea of what to order.

Yes, professional magazines have reviews, etc., that assist us in our ordering.

By keeping informed, I am better able to purchase reference materials.

Yes, it has helped in identifying materials for purchase either not yet in review journals or of a local nature that would not be reviewed in review sources.

Yes, just being aware of current information has allowed me to quickly answer people's questions that don't require a lot of research. They just want to know. It also provides a great deal of self-enrichment, which in turn leads to helping others on the job and off.

Yes, ideas for library programs, such as summer reading club, are sometimes found in magazines.

I use my current awareness of the news as a conversation starter with patrons.

Occasionally I will feel more intellectually well-rounded in recent scientific discoveries and more aware of recent medical news, and more versed in the latest technological interests of the average person. These may help me in my responsibilities as a selector of materials and databases for purchase by the library.

It helps with collection development. Knowing about local authors, issues of importance can be useful in book selection. As an administrator, it is crucial that I know what is going on in my city and region. This impacts budget and services.

In the magazines I regularly read, I find a lot of information about technology and listings of specific web sites that I then use to answer reference questions. For example, I read the Yahoo! Magazine, and I have found coverage of a number of sites that I have added to my bookmarks and regularly use for reference questions.

Reading library type journals helps me keep abreast of trends in service and technology. Our library is now on the verge of offering ebooks to our patrons in the form of specific medical textbooks from a service called Stat!Ref.

Since general knowledge is our business, it is important to know what is going on.

Hot topics become items important in collection development. Because I am the Government Information Librarian, any government report such as the latest report of the Surgeon General, the Tobacco Use or Microsoft Court case information, school violence, Internet filtering becomes items is search for and buy. It is my responsibility to maintain the government portion of our web site. URLs listed in the paper or magazines are often helpful.

Very helpful for collection development. Not only do you find about specific publications, but it makes you think about what current issues or trends in the field might be of interest to researchers.

Keeping abreast of the local business scene is always helpful in my job. We have a section of the paper that tracks business changes; we have several patrons who contribute as guests. The personal contacts and networking opportunities are invaluable.

It is important to keep up with current events in order to purchase materials on timely topics. All librarians here are responsible for ordering. Also, reader's advisory is a very important aspect of the job and we need to be up on current books.

We are always looking for ways to improve our services to our patrons. Many ideas on ways to run small businesses and customer services can be found by following the example, or avoiding the mistakes of other businesses. One example of this is a simple newsletter or weekly column in the local newspaper to keep our services publicized.

Keeping abreast of technology; knowing what's going on in popular culture. An example might be reading Oprah's magazine, O and then having patrons inquire about specific titles or authors in the magazine.

Since I select reference works, it's always useful to read about what might be of interest to patrons. When ebay was featured in newspaper articles, I added more works on collectibles to the reference area.

Reading newspapers and magazines helps me with collection development and management. I read the book review section in both the San Francisco Chronicle and San Jose Mercury on Sundays. I read the book review sections in People, Biography and Newsweek magazine. The business section of Newsweek and in the papers helps me understand what is going on with Silicon Valley chapters. Reading professional journals helps me stay current in the field.

It certainly helps with book selection, learning about literary prize winners, or books that are being talked about, or authors who are making the rounds.

Broadens total experience/general knowledge, which is always helpful. Since I don't really read newspapers on a regular basis, can't think of specific example.

We often use these media to help children and adults learn how to use print and online materials, and how to use databases and the Internet in general.

I usually show patrons how to find the online newspapers and they take it from there.

Reading helped when a woman came in and asked about the health signs seen in our finger nails. At least I had heard about this and knew what she was talking about existed.

Yes, collection development. I have often used information learned through reading to check on areas of our collection to be sure we are current in the print information that we have available for the public.

During the recent election, people stopped by the reference desk to chat and exchange comments about details, opinions, etc. Without reading newspapers or watching CNN or going to cnn.com, it would have been impossible for us to respond.

Of course, it has helped me in many ways. By knowing how to spell, how to anticipate requests for information and materials, how to question dubious procedures in our operations.

Yes, I purchase the videos for the library, so reading reviews in the local paper, which carries reviews by Roger Ebert, helps me keep in mind ones I'd be interested in purchasing in the future. I read more reviews than just his, but it gives me a basic knowledge of the movie and whether or not it's suitable for the library.

Even though I do not do any online trading of stocks, reading about it in print and online has at least helped familiarize me with the general idea. I was talking with a co-worker, who does not read magazines or newspapers at all and does not even own a TV, and I mentioned online trading, and he said, with all seriousness, "What's that?" I consider this sort of ignorance to really hamper one's job performance.

Given my collection development responsibilities it is essential that I know, for example, the latest theory on the extinction of dinosaurs. I believe that I am rather unconsciously scanning all print sources that come before my eyes, categorizing and filing it away, often with particular patrons in mind. I proactively call patrons re new information. As I listen to music while driving, I note composer/performer. I irritate my husband by asking him his sources when he makes provocative comments with information I wish similarly to store. Effective current awareness retrieval is a core skill of a public service librarian.

Sometimes helps in choosing books, particularly NYT Book Review. Also, of course, professional journals, but I have little time for them anymore. I often read them online.

Yes, sometimes I see reviews of books that are helpful. I can sometimes get an idea of what subjects are popular. I get a general feel for what styles teens like.

It helps me in spotting trends so I know what needs to be purchased for the library. It also provides me with needed information when I'm networking with other libraries.

It helps me identify new books and materials for our library collection.

Reading Entertainment Weekly gives me the popular culture background necessary to relate to the kids, and also to know what sorts of purchases to make. I find the Internet supplement especially useful. It helps me stay on top of the hip websites and the trends in electronic gaming.

Makes me more knowledgeable and articulate in responding to patrons' inquiries. I am more able to ask relevant clarifying questions and it enhances patrons' confidence in me.

Solving one reference question leads to solving another unrelated question by searching and using web sites, etc.

When discussing political or economic events that effect the city government, it enhances one's professional reputation and can contribute to better decision-making in the library.

It helps to keep abreast of our small local paper as there is no index. People want an obituary or maybe a classified.

This activity makes you more knowledgeable when conversing with patrons. They get a good feeling about the library if staff are well read.

Reading print and online newspapers helps in collection development and professional development. Reading things like People makes me aware of popular books, CDs, etc. Somehow I manage to read a lot of library-related stuff, like new studies about computer access, digital divide, new statistics, etc. This helps with my professional development.

Mostly by keeping me informed of local, national, and international events. An example includes the fact that we frequently get questions regarding articles that the public has seen in the recent past, and requests on how to locate the information. The availability of archives on the newspaper web index will often help us to locate the articles using keyword searching and chronologically listings of articles.

Yes, it increases my ability to relate to colleagues and customers.

Print newspapers and magazines are useful, as I believe they provide me with a general knowledge in regards to current events. I do routinely consult the Canadian Periodical Index in responding to current event inquiries.

Knowing what people are talking about helps me or us to give better service. I want Oprah's latest book is answered by looking at her Internet site.

It certainly adds to my knowledge base, as there is always something to learn. I am finding out a fair amount about genetically modified foods and the issues that surround them.

As a selector and being involved in the planning process of our entire system, I find that being alert to as much as possible always has an application to any aspect of library work. From knowing what the customers will be rushing in the door for next to understanding the social and political climate in which public libraries must operate and survive, all information eventually is required or can be used effectively.

No specifics, but generally I am able to have discussions with patrons about issues and events of a current nature. It keeps me aware of things going on and I resist the temptation to be too literary.

Knowing what goes on in the world is a great help in ordering materials and in carrying on conversations with patrons.

It gives me a feel for what kinds of questions are on people's minds that they may ask about.

It keeps me more informed on national and regional issues.

When you read widely, you are exposed to ideas, news events, facts about people, what is hot in publishing, movies, theatre, current affairs, international politics, etc. When you are exposed to a variety of ideas, events, thoughts, it is easier to answer questions posed by the public because your mind is sharp and active and you have a better chance of recognizing new terminology, names, etc. I have purchased non-fiction titles for years and recognize authors, people who are in current favor by reading widely. For example, the new George Forman cookbook was purchased because I knew who he was.

People magazine has interesting book and film reviews. They also regularly publish chapters from celebrity biographies. This is one place to measure the level of interest in a new book or film. We did a Stars Wars marketing display around the release of the new Star Wars movie last year. We have a display up about Steve Allen who recently died, and did a big display of Frank Sinatra, which included his music. When Martha Stewart does a holiday planning issue it may be time for a display of holiday craft and decorating books.

I feel that the amount of knowledge we gather every day is relevant to our performance. I can feel confident that I can carry on an intelligent conversation and give patrons confidence that I can meet their needs.

Yes, it has helped in knowing what is going on in the area and in the county, and helped when people need directions.

Being well-informed is essential in our profession. Currently in the process of working on our library's design with several architects. Keeping abreast with what is happening in the architectural field gives me something to discuss beyond immediate plans and lends credibility to my design input I think anything that increases my store of general knowledge can be considered as helpful. I have always enjoyed keeping up with current events and satisfying my curiosity about my world and our community.

I think anything that increases my store of general knowledge can be considered as helpful. I have always enjoyed keeping up with current events and satisfying my curiosity about my world and our community.

As a general rule, I think it is good to have a varied knowledge base, but I can't think of a concrete example.

One way this has helped me is with the bestsellers list. I currently work as a reader's advisory assistant.

Daily. I know what I need to discuss and can find my facts to back up these questions. I have people outside of my job wondering and learning.

Keeping up on current events helps me to recognize names in the news which might be the subject of a homework paper. Celebrities and local government figures are the most frequently requested. The book reviews that I pick up from People, Entertainment Weekly, library magazines and Publishers Weekly are invaluable.

Yes. A patron was trying to identify the new Planetarium in New York City, formerly known as the Hayden Planetarium. I was able to show her an article in Natural History about the new facility.

Helps me keep up on current trends and fads, which helps me plan programs and purchase materials on subjects of current interest. Many things are never mentioned in the review journals because they are of local interest only or are too much of a fad to receive recognition in "legitimate" review sources. I also watch the best seller lists to make sure I am up to date.

It's vital if you want some familiarity with names of persons, diseases, politics, music, or sports.

It has helped me do a better job of ordering books for the library. I have been able to recognize books of importance to local issues, such as social service issues, and to recognize books on new topics that are coming up in the news. I have recognized state, local or federal government documents in the news that the library needs to obtain or made easy to find, because people will come in asking for them.

Book reviews help with acquisitions.

I am able to find out information on what other libraries are doing and keep up on current changes to technology.

Crafts and hobbies are very popular here. I am often able to help patrons by locating specific information for them because I am familiar with the different aspects of what they are trying to accomplish.

In general, it keeps me aware of current events, and issues that people are likely to be concerned about. Sorry, I can't think of a specific example.

Reading keeps me current with trends, thus I'm better able to predict the future, especially with use of the Internet.

I think knowing what is going on the world is always helpful, albeit working in a library or elsewhere.

Several times I have come across articles or publication of new books of local interest or by local authors, and have alerted our ordering department so that we make sure to get copies for the library.

Sometimes there are articles about what other libraries in our area are doing. That is helpful to me.

Yes, being knowledgeable in what's happening in e-commerce and other Internet stuff has helped with patron inquiries.

Reading print materials has helped tremendously in my selection of materials.

Yes, I sometimes get ideas for books to buy from articles or magazines I read, either from direct new book descriptions, or from articles about new trends or growing public interest in a topic that I can respond to by buying books on that topic or to meet that particular information need (like information on types of hepatitis).

Yes. People asked about local candidates for elections and also about federal election. I try to point them in the direction of newspaper or magazine articles that will answer their question without choosing sides.

Keeping up to date on current economic and business data as a member of our local chamber of commerce.

I often find reviews of books and videos not covered in library publications. I use the Business Week and Wall Street Journal Best Business Books for collection purposes. Local newspapers are good source for programs - an interview in paper of local author led to her appearance at our library. Movie reviews in newspapers are helpful. Selection tools for video and DVD purchases.

I read the paper and magazines to get ideas for books to order. Our Saginaw News often will review books. Patrons read magazines and they see the ads from book clubs. They want to read these popular books. I feel great when I know that our library owns them all.

If I have to catalog an item that is related to current events, my reading will allow me to assign accurate subject headings and classify the item in such a way that the item will be easily found by patrons.

I am able to spot trends in people's interest that helps in collection development. Topics that show up in magazines often have patrons wanting more information. An example would be articles on feng shui in magazines lead to us ordering books on feng shui. And sure enough, we had requests for books on feng shui. We also look at newspaper/ magazine book reviews for authors/titles to purchase.

It keeps me abreast of trends, so the library can be proactive instead of reactive, specifically in regard to "filtering" and "e-books". We took care of our response before they became hot items.

The biggest benefit is not in the reference aspect of it. The biggest benefit is that it helps us develop relationships with our patrons. In our community patrons come to the library to find out about things its true, but they come more because they like the staff and the relationships that we've developed with them over the years, even with passing comments on current events. We can provide a great reference service but it wouldn't do us a bit of good if we didn't have relationships with people.

It helps with collection development by keeping me aware of subjects that patrons may want more in-depth information about. An example is ground water contamination or cancer treatments. Also, patrons request books that have been written up in the newspaper book reviews.

Reading newspapers and magazines in any format has certainly helped improve my vocabulary. I feel more knowledgeable when speaking with a colleague. I can certainly relate to our patrons better even if only in casual conversation.

Because reading increases my general knowledge, I am able to know where to begin to look when patrons have questions - for instance, knowing that Greenspan has something to do with the economy is helpful. At least I know that I need to look in business resources and not in the encyclopedias when his name comes up.

Knowing what is going on in the state helps me in my work with state employees and officials and when dealing with in-state public libraries.

It helps me keep up with topics and writers of current interest. I find ideas for new books I need to order.

It may help in collection development, but I can't think of a specific example. In this area, I'm not as sure of my opinion.

For collection development I read reviews of books and other materials either in professional journals or online reviews taken from these sources.

By reading book reviews and/or information about authors, I can suggest reading materials for patrons when I am working at the circulation desk.

It helps with collection development. For example, understanding why a topic or author is of interest.

My reading helps me be aware of trends in various areas of interest what books are really popular, what's hot in exercise and fitness, new products available - those sorts of things.

Knowing what is going on in the world is useful for just talking with regular patrons and also is useful for collection development. For instance, paying attention to the Bosnian war - I waited until things calmed down to buy books but did buy current materials on the conflicts - including Zlata's Diary (spelling is wrong) which was discussed.

Yes. I get warnings of when people are going to come in for environmental impact reports. I know where to find voter information. I know that there is a street fair, or that the Fiesta Patrias celebration was cancelled, so to look for confirmation of that, rather than to try to find the contact person for booth rental.

It is very helpful in collection development. I was recently reading an article about Alice Walker and it talked about a new book that she is writing and one her daughter Rebecca is writing on the same topic.

Our library is a resource for community happenings of all sorts. So the little weekly local newspaper helps us keep abreast of events, deaths of patrons and other such things that help us keep a pulse on the community. Also, just conversations with patrons are aided by being aware of what is going on in the world. If I had the stomach for it, listening to talk show hosts would really help when people ask about something they've heard on "Rush", etc.

Yes I receive three magazines with the latest book reviews that help me plan when I'm ordering books. It gives me the information on when a certain author is coming out with a new book and when it will be available. The ALA sends out a news letter that is informative on what's happening with libraries as is Today's Librarian, another magazine I read. The local papers print information about other libraries in the area, which is helpful. I read to find out about issues that will affect the funding for the libraries such as tax repeals, budget cuts in the county etc.

I find the knowledge that I gain can be shared with my counter parts at action meetings and the process I use in accessing this information helps develop skills.

I always read the book reviews in the local newspaper and in Newsweek, which helps me with collection development.

Usually, reading these will help us with what people will want info about such as what books, subjects will be popular.

Knowledge of current trends helps me choose books of value and interest to patrons. As librarians, we are expected to know everything or at least know where to find it. Being well-read helps you see the whole picture.

Yes, it is useful in patron health problems. Also, an excellent on-line service for health inquiries, Infotrac, through the New York State Library which gets the service from Gale Research. The info is up to date.

Yes, in knowing what economic development is impacting the town, so I can plan better for the library's long range plans. I know what new businesses are coming to town and whom I might be able to ask for donations.

In awareness for collection development. People who are informed on current topics want the most current information, so I have to be sure we have the most current published information in our Reference collection: I have recently ordered updated sports almanacs, for instance, since the interest in the Olympics.

Reading newspapers keeps my up-to-date with what is going on, which is a must for reference work. It helps me to make connections I otherwise would not have made if I hadn't read the current events. Sometimes my reading the papers enables me to fulfill a request for retrospective information. For instance, a lot of the local community information is very valuable, as patrons call on the telephone and remember seeing something in the paper but don't have a citation. I usually remember what I've read and can help answer the patron's question. Someone came in and asked about the People magazine issue that pertained to Michael J. Fox's illness. I remembered that I had read it and it was recent. A small example, but a concrete one.

Reading local newspapers, magazines (we have two), and newsletters is of great benefit to librarians. They are providers of knowledge about the community at large. We can better serve our patrons if we know more about how they live; we can provide access to appropriate materials, we can reach out to community organizations to offer meeting space, and we can be informed of upcoming events that might provide opportunities for library marketing (community fairs, block parties, and the like). Often times the newspaper is our only source of information about local officials, local resources, or activities and many patrons rely upon the library to provide such information to them.

It aids in book selection and public relations. I find titles or topics we need to acquire. Helps when patrons just come in to talk about the news.

I think that being a generalist is the best preparation for being a reference librarian. A lifetime habit of reading newspapers keeps one quite well rounded.

This area is an evolving rural to bedroom community. There are issues concerning open land and the creation of land trusts. Questions were raised as to the hows and why-for's. We were able to buy relevant books about the subject and find contacts with national organizations in order to resolve some of the basic questions raised by responsible decision-makers in the community. Also, keeping current with the community's concerns helps in collection development, especially in the non-fiction area. Jane Goodall spoke at a local school last fall, just before her book, Reason for Hope came out. The enthusiasm in town, related to her talk resulted in the purchase of the book.

Reading papers have helped me with reader's advisory in particular. Also children's assignments often relate to current news such as the election.

Gives me a broader outline about topics I would never usually investigate, like technology.

The local newspaper has helped me in being able to be more politically astute with various town boards and committees as the director of the local public library. Even librarians have to play political games to get the necessary appropriations, get placements on building committees (we're in the process of a library building project), etc.

Reading as much material as possible, online or print, is the best possible way to keep informed. It has helped in many occasions when I remembered reading about something in the paper and was able to assist the patron when they did not have complete information.

Yes, but I have no specific examples. Often, it is a matter of recognizing that the person or thing about which the patron is inquiring is involved in banking or criminal activity, etc.

Yes, general conversation with patrons.

As a librarian, people sometimes expect you to be able to answer their questions off the top of your head. You are often able to do that because you keep yourself informed. Many people who come into the library, come for more than books. They come to visit or talk, sometimes they are just lonely looking for social contact. Since the library is essentially a community center for them it's nice to be able to discuss the news and world happenings.

Yes, for awareness of opportunities such as lectures, free materials/information. For readers advisory, information on local activities and details of such that may help in planning programs for the library.

It helps me stay on top of trends in reading, music, videos and other areas of interest to our patrons. We can't always buy the "trendy" book but I can keep the title in mind and have no hesitation in ordering it if a patron mentions they would like to read it. We are a conservative community of 2000 people and my patrons don't always follow trends, but I feel the need to stay informed.

By receiving updated information online, we can provide background material on the latest Oprah Book Club selection.

It gives me a much broader knowledge of all subjects both personally and professionally.

It makes me aware of what is happening in the world around me. I don't know how else to answer the question. I have never not been a newspaper reader, at least since the age of 10 or so. I grew up in a house of a newspaper publisher and editor. One of my brothers is a newspaper editor; my mother, another brother and a sister are newspaper editors and I cannot imagine a day without reading a paper before going to work. I would feel at sea.

Information on local events. I am able to serve as an information provider for times and places.

You pick up little tidbits of information while reading the paper, especially related to local or state events that can help prompt an answer for a patron.

Keeping current will always help, specifically in our job. It is essential to know what is going in the community and the world. As I mentioned before, it helps with collection development.

Yes, my personal broad education is kept up-to-date so that I can converse somewhat helpfully on nearly any topic a patron of any age might ask about. If I did not scan these wide-ranging titles, I am certain I would be in duck-soup (or at least mouth-hanging open in an I have-no-idea mode) at least twice a day! Don't lose sight of book reading, either - a lost art maybe. None-the-less, I average 4-5 books a week and nearly none of them are fiction. I tend to rotate through a few simultaneously regardless of their subject matter so right now on my side table at home I just finished Elegy for Iris (about Iris Murdoch's Alzheimer's written by her literary husband), a documentary of source material on Merlin (actual text from the earliest, regardless of the name he was given in his early transmogrifications, through contemporary fiction with him as hero or villain - all coupled with small squibs or reflective critique), a Bird identification text and my binoculars, a training manual for Windows Office Pro (newest version): (and an old book on South American apartheid (Uhuru by Roard, a novel!) I own because of reading.

I write a weekly (local) newspaper column based on actual questions received at the reference desk. Both print and online periodicals are absolutely essential to this duty.

One of the great delights for reference librarians who like their work is the ability to scoop folks by bringing attention that relate to their ongoing interests. The New York Times - for example - is a day ahead or more of most newspapers on planet-wide issues and events. The New York Times and the Web permit a very proactive kind of information service that I think back to libraries; knowing that library staff are really savvy and perspicacious for them and their needs.

We purchase many books, which contain information about government officials (local - international). I often pencil in updated information that I have learned through watching the news or reading a newspaper such as the election of a new Prime Minister for a foreign country.

To be well versed in a variety of topics is part of the job although not formally so. I just feel that librarians are expected to be knowledgeable, current and informative. I should be able to discuss a variety of topics with my patrons.

I can tell what is popular and what is not. Sometimes I can spot a trend.

Collection development: books, videos, etc. to select.

Helps me when I am selecting which books to buy, what the current popular topics are. Gives me an overall understanding of what's going on in the world and putting things in perspective (maybe not an understanding - more like an awareness!)

They have been helpful in identifying trends of interest of the general public.

Yes. I am in charge of the vertical file and by reading these materials, I have been able to better upkeep my files. I also upkeep an Internet file of web sites to help patrons find information with.

Keeping up with current events helps us decide on what material to order and how many copies. Collection development is part of the reference department's responsibilities.

Yes! Part of my job is technology, and I have to keep up, the best that I possibly can, with what is out there technologically and the continual changes in this field (this is the toughest and most exhausting part of my job!). I look at several PC magazines. Also, I use newspapers and magazines for collection development purposes (Kirkus, Booklist, New York Times, Publisher's Weekly, School Library Journal).

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