[Virtual_reference] A question to end all questions

McCarthy, Sandy mccarthy at wccnet.edu
Wed Dec 7 13:41:54 EST 2011

Did you write this? Great work.


Faculty Librarian
Washtenaw Community College
Ann Arbor, MI 48105


From: virtual_reference-bounces at mlcnet.org [mailto:virtual_reference-bounces at mlcnet.org] On Behalf Of Randal Baier
Sent: Tuesday, December 06, 2011 1:33 PM
Cc: Virtual reference (Virtual_reference at mail.mlcnet.org)
Subject: [Virtual_reference] A question to end all questions

Hail to thee, blithe spirits, colleagues all. I offer this poetic transformation after reflecting on the occasional absurdity of our tasks.

Randal Baier


out of the air
from Delaware
comes a plaintive soulful cry

"how *do* I buy the book"

I'll do what I can
from Michi-gan

Why don't we have a look

Through policies, scripts and
various URLs
I endeavor to define

How one would parse this gentle plea
at once profound, sublime

You know, it's not too often
that I receive such a precise request
but I'm confused, a bit astray
while working at your behest

could it be bibliographic
this problem that unfolds?

or perhaps a classroom panic --
trying to do what you've been told?

My interest wanes, I am perplexed
I struggle to comply
why me dear lord, why me today
why "be here now" I sigh

The warning bells continue
Bleating their sonic pluck
The sound ever so insistent now …
Refusing to give up

But, lo, what wondrous absence this?
Forsooth, I am in luck,
the bells have stopped, oh glory be,
another colleague has picked up!
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