A Publication for the faculty, staff, administrators and friends of California State University, Chico
December 9, 2004 Volume 35/Number 4

Librarian at Large

stack of books

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



University Publications
California State University, Chico
400 West First Street
Chico, CA 95929-0040