[Virtual_reference] Pinching cheeks; Duct tape/hand covering mouth; See no evil questions

Tobias, Christine tobiasc at mail.lib.msu.edu
Wed Oct 19 17:12:03 EDT 2011

Hi all -

We are still receiving questions from a patron who asks about images of pinching cheeks or duct tape/hands covering mouths and about the meaning of "See no evil." This patron uses a yahoo.com email address and rarely responds beyond the initial question. The IP addresses used by this patron are located in Denver, CO. I have heard that this patron has sent questions to several 24/7 cooperative services throughout the U.S., and while it is common practice to approach each question as a legitimate research/reference question, it's probably safe to assume that these particular questions are not valid research inquiries.

I have placed an Alert on MSU's policies page and created a script to help cooperative librarians handle this question/patron appropriately. Basically, tell the patron that their question has been previously addressed and ask them not to contact us again. Then promptly end the session. Please do not spend time helping this patron!

Feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.


Christine Tobias
Reference and Technology Librarian
Liaison to James Madison College
Michigan State University Libraries
100 Library
East Lansing, MI 48824-1048
tobiasc at msu.edu<mailto:tobiasc at msu.edu>
Twitter: @ctobias27

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