September 28, 2014

Ask a Stupid Question Day

National Ask a Stupid Question Day (9/28)
I have to wonder who thought up the idea of “National Ask a Stupid Question Day.”  I don’t know who it was but what I do know for sure is that it wasn’t a librarian.  Librarians see no question as stupid – no matter how simple or complex it may appear or actually turn out to be. Librarians are in the business of helping and answering questions – it’s part of the job – part of the job we love. 
Here is a very brief sampling of some of the thousands of questions I have been asked in my seventeen years as a librarian:
  1. What size shoe does the Queen of England wear?                                          (American Size 6.5, British Size 4)
  2.  How far is it from Pullman to Edison, New Jersey?                                       (Depending on your route, between 2632 and 2805 miles)
  3.  Who is the author of The Very Hungry Caterpillar?                                      (Eric Carle)
  4.  What 2 colors do you get when you mix red and yellow?                                (Orange)
  5. What is the chemical formula for sucrose?                                                      (C12H22O11)
  6.  Why did you want to become a children’s librarian?                                       (In short, because I am enchanted by children of all ages and love getting them       connected with great books.)
  7.  My son caught a snake we can’t identify.  Can you help us?                          (Yes, would you like the contact information for a snake expert, would you like  online resources for snake identification or would you like to send me a photo of  the snake and see what I can find?)
  8.  Can you find me a recipe for making honey?                                                  (I’m sorry there isn’t.  Only certain insects are able to actually make honey. The     insects that produce the honey we consume as humans are various kinds of           bees.)
  9.  Who invented the toilet?                                                                                  (Sir John Harrington of England)
  10.  What is the fourth book in the Harry Potter series?                                       (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire)

So as you can see, there is no shortage of questions and we librarians see them all as equally important. So don’t ever hesitate to ask us what you want to know.  We love the quest to find answers to everyone’s questions.

Kathleen Ahern
Children's Librarian

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