Friday, December 14, 2007

What Would You Like to Know?

One of the more interesting things librarians do is answer questions. In Sacramento, questions that come in by phone to any of our branches are routed automatically to the Telephone Information Service (TELIS) at the Central Library, where librarians use a collection of books, online subscriptions, and the Internet to answer them - usually in less than 5 minutes.

So, what kind of questions do callers ask? Everything from "What day is it today?" to "How many hairs are there on a cat?" (answer)

Here are a few questions we've received over the last few years:

Q: How did Roseville get its name?
A: It was chosen by the residents at a picnic for the most popular girl present (Sacramento Bee, Oct. 10, 1931).

Q: When weather reports give wind direction, does that indicate 1) direction the wind is blowing to, or 2) direction from which the wind is blowing?
A: From Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary: "the direction from which the wind is blowing."

Q: Does OPEC have a standard size for their oil drums?
A: According to the OPEC Web site: "Oil is measured in barrels. . .One barrel equals 52 US gallons, or 159 litres."

What would YOU like to know? Call 916-264-2920 after 10 a.m.

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