Ref Around the Clock
Have you ever searched for a white-faced ibis in the middle of
the night? If so, you were probably out of luck since it is not
a nocturnal bird. Have you ever searched for an article about a
white-faced ibis in the middle of the night? At least three Chico
State students have, and they found it in the library. “What?”
you say, “The library isn’t open in the middle of the
night!” True, but we do have 24/7 reference service and a
wide variety of online reference sources.
The fastest and most direct reference service is available most
of the hours the library is open at the Reference desk on the second
floor in person or by calling x5833. Can’t visit or call?
Just go to the Library ReSEARCH Station http://www.csuchico.edu/library/
and select the “Help/Ask a Librarian” link under the
service menu on the left side of the page. “Ask a Librarian
E-Mail” is a service by Chico State librarians for our students,
faculty, and staff. We will respond within two business days, but
usually much sooner. If more urgent answers are required choose
the second selection, “Ask a Librarian Now,” a 24/7
chat service staffed by academic and public librarians from across
America. The local librarians who participate in this project have
answered questions from as far away as Kabarak University in Kenya.
You can also look things up on your own by selecting “Ready
Reference and Quick Facts” from the middle of the ReSEARCH
Station page. We offer hundreds of free Internet sources in 20 categories
ranging from Biography to Current Events to Facts and Statistics
to Speeches and Transcripts. I found the elusive white-faced ibis
in Britannica Online, one of our most popular online reference sources.
A search in Earthtrends, The Environmental Information Portal verified
that this lovely bird is not an endangered species. Perhaps that’s
why I couldn’t locate white-faced ibises in the “Retirees
and Empty Nesters” category of the Relocation Information
Web site. By combining information from these sites, one might conclude
that both white-faced ibises with full nests and empty nested white-faced
snowbirds can both be found in profusion in Florida. Then again,
if that’s the sort of thing you are pondering in the middle
of the night, you may need additional professional help from someone
other than a librarian.
—Jim Dwyer, Meriam Library, Bibliographic Services