Monday, May 9, 2016

Calm Down

She was one crazy B****!
For the most part, I really dig being a Librarian.  The part(s) that I don't like is when people take their frustrations out on the Librarian (in this case, me).  

Take, for example, the young lady who came in the other day.  Seems young lady was a paralegal student.  I don't know what her life is like in class but what I do know is that she was a raging, uh....maniac. Yeah, that's a word (not the first one that popped in my head, but it will do).

In any event, there is a term that I use when I teach the "how" of legal research: RANGE.  RANGE is the distance between two points.  RANGE is also the key to finding resources in a law library (because rarely do you see what you need on the spine of the book).  

For example, say you were using Words and Phrases and were looking for case law on Custodial Interrogation.  I would, of course, reach for volume 10B because on the spine of volume 10B it reads Cruel Beating to Cystotomy.  Because "Custodial Interrogation" is within the RANGE (i.e. starts with "Cus") of Cruel Beating to Cystotomy, volume 10B is the book I want to use.  Round about logic but I hope you get the gist.  Thus, unless you know how the alphabet works (i.e. A, B, C, D,....) and how RANGE is applied, you're not going to find squat.

In young lady's case, she wanted to know how to find information related to Easement by Necessity in American Jurisprudence, 2d.  So, we cheated a bit and started looking in the index.  We still have to deal with RANGE and the alphabet so, starting with "E," we looked for "Easement" then under  "N" for "Necessity."  The Index said to go to Easement section 27.  Off to Easement section 27 we went and found her answer and that should have been the end of it ("should" being the operative word).  Young women, however, became "upset" that I was saying the alphabet out loud and explaining the "how" of legal research and RANGE and in mere seconds was stomping around, threatening lawsuits, and all that jazz.  Jeesh, some people's kids.

The thing is, Librarians are pretty cool cats.  We know what we're doing and are more than willing to help you learn what we know (and "how" to do it).  What is not all that cool is when people bring their frustrations to the library.  Here's a suggestion.  If you need help, your local county law Librarian is the person to talk to.  Just, please, leave your baggage outside.