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These are actual reference queries reported by American and Canadian library reference desk workers of various levels. No kidding.

“Do you have books here?”

“Do you have a list of all the books written in the English language?”

“Do you have a list of all the books I’ve ever read?”

“I’m looking for Robert James Waller’s book, ‘Waltzing through Grand Rapids’.” (Actual title wanted: “Slow Waltz in Cedar Bend.”)

“Do you have that book by Rushdie: ‘Satanic Nurses’?” (Actual title: “Satanic Verses”)

“Where is the reference desk?” This was asked of a person sitting at a desk who had, hanging above her head, a sign saying “REFERENCE DESK”!

“I was here about three weeks ago looking at a cookbook that cost $39.95. Do you know which one it is?”

“Which outlets in the library are appropriate for my hairdryer?”

“Can you tell me why so many famous Civil War battles were fought on National Park sites?”

“Do you have any books with photographs of dinosaurs?”

“I need a color photograph of George Washington, Christopher Columbus, King Arthur, Moses, Socrates, etc.”

“I need a photocopy of Booker T. Washington’s birth certificate.”

“I need to find out Ibid’s first name for my bibliography.”

“Why don’t you have any books by Ibid? He’s written a lot of important stuff.”

“I’m looking for information on carpal tunnel syndrome. I think I’m having trouble with it in my neck.”

“Is the basement upstairs?” (Asked at First Floor Reference Desk)

“I am looking for a list of laws that I can break that would send me back to jail for a couple of months.”

The Teacher tells the class they are going to play a game, she will describe an object and the students will tell her what she had described.

Teacher: “The first object is Red, Round, and has a stem.”
Timmy: “I know what it is, it’s an apple.”
Teacher: “That’s right, I like the way you’re thinking.”
“OK the next item is round, has a peel, and you eat it.”
Christopher: “I know what it is, it’s an orange.”
Teacher: “That’s right, I like the way you’re thinking.”
Johnny: “Can I try, Teacher?”
Teacher: “Yes Johnny, but, Keep it clean!”
Johnny sticks his hands in his pockets and feels around for a second, and says “My object is round, hard, and has a head on it.”
Teacher: “Alright Johnny, go to the office!”
Johnny: “No Teacher, it’s a quarter, but, I like the way you’re thinking!”

1. The bandage was wound around the wound.
2. The farm was used to produce produce.
3. The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
4. We must polish the Polish furniture.
5. He could lead if he would get the lead out.
6. The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
7. Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.
8. A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
9. When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
10. I did not object to the object.
11. The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
12. There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
13. They were too close to the door to close it.
14. The buck does funny things when the does are present.
15. A seamstress and sewer fell down a sewer line.
16. To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
17. The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
18. After a number of injections my jaw got number.
19. Upon seeing the tear in the painting, I shed a tear.
20. I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
21. How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

A Kentucky teacher was quizzing her students. “Johnny, who signed the Declaration of Independence?”
He said, “Damn if I know.”
She was a little put out by his swearing, so she told him to go home and to bring his father with him when he came back. Next day, the father came with his son, sat in the back of the room to observe. She started back in on her quiz and finally got back to the boy.
“Now, Johnny, I’ll ask you again. Who signed the Declaration of Independence?”
“Well, hell, teacher,” Johnny said, “I told you I didn’t know.”
The father jumped up in the back, pointed a stern finger at his son, and said, “Johnny, if you signed that damn thing, hell, you damn well better admit it!”

1. If you have ever price shopped for Top Ramen, you might be a college student.

2. If you live in a house with three couches, none of which match.

3. If you consider Mac and Cheese a balanced meal.

4. If you have ever written a check for 45 cents.

5. If you have a fine collection of domestic beer bottles.

6. If you have ever seen two consectutive sunrises without sleeping.

7. If your glass set is composed of McDonald’s Extra Value Meal Plastic Cups (ie.Olympic Dream Team I or II).

8. If your underwear supply dictates the time between laundry loads.

9. If you cannot remember when you last washed your car.

10. If you can pack your worldly possesions into the back of a pick-up (one trip).

11. If you have ever had to justify yourself for buying Natural Light.

12. If the first thing you do in the morning is roll over and introduce yourself.

13. If you average less than 3 hours of sleep a night.

14. If your trash is overflowing and your bank account isn’t

15. If you go to Wal-Mart more than 3 times a week

16. If you eat at the cafeteria because it’s “free”, even though it tastes terrible.

17. If you are personally keeping the local pizza place from bankruptcy

18. If you wake up 10 minutes before class

19. If you wear the same jeans 13 days in a row — without washing them

20. If your breakfast consists of a coke on the way to class

21. If your social life consists of a date with the library

22. If your idea of “doing your hair” is putting on a baseball cap

23. If it takes a shovel to find the floor of your room

24. If you carry less than a dollar on you at all times because that’s all you have

25. If you haven’t done laundry in so long you are wearing your swim suit to class

26. If your midnight snack is microwave popcorn

27. If you celebrate when you find a quarter

28. If your room is so cold that your toilet freezes over

29. If your walls are plastered with posters of half naked men or women (whichever your preference)

30. If you have built up a tolerence for beverages (he he he)

31. If you wear a sweat suit for so long that it stands up by itself

32. If your backpack is giving you Scoliosis

33. If you get more sleep in class than in your room

34. If your idea of feeding the poor is buying yourself some Ramen Noodles

35. If you can sleep through your roommate’s blaring stereo

36. If you live in an area that is smaller than most mobile homes

37. If you get more e-mail than mail.

© 2015