Guest Author - Kim Lynch
The internet has replaced the library as the first stop in the quest for knowledge, but even the internet has limitations. It has become a distant memories for many, but the public library used to be the first place a person would turn to for information.
As vast and crowded as the internet has become, it still has gaps. Many searches only bring up a blank page or just a few hits that really don't answer your questions. At that moment there is only one place to go, back to the library. Unfortunately, every library no matter how big or how small has limitations. They don't always have the books or materials you need or have hours that fit your schedule.
This is when you need to call on the library's greatest resource, the Librarian. Librarians do more that shelve books or run reading programs, they help patrons use the library and locate vital information. Most importantly they answer impossible questions.
The internet has made it possible to ask a Librarian a question without actually going to the library. Below are just a few of the "Ask a Librarian" sites available on the web. You might want to check your local library for a similar resource.
Library of Congress
Internet Public Library
I Love Libraries American Library Association
New York Public Library
Ask a Librarian (Florida's Virtual Reference Service)
Library University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Ask Now (California Public Libraries)
Maine State Library
State Library of Iowa
New Hampshire State Library
Free Library of Philadelphia
Yale University Library
New York University Libraries
Michigan State University Libraries
Washington State Library
New Jersey State Library
Ohio State University Library
South Carolina State Library
Ask a Librarian (Nevada)
Toronto Public Library