There is a lot of information that is incredibly helpful in my job. Unfortunately, it seems like that is the information I am lease likely to receive. So here is a handy list of things that aren’t going to help me at all.
“I’m looking for a book.” Followed immediately with “called ***” or “with this call number” this is exactly right. On its own, followed by a blank stare this is the least helpful thing you could say.
“My teacher said there was some reserve stuff here.”* Not only is this a poorly constructed sentence, it also fails to provide me with any useful information.
“It’s on reserve.”* I’m sure it is. That doesn’t help me unless you have a call number.
“It’s right over there.” * This (usually combined with pointing) is NOT an adequate substitute for a call number. Yes, I am aware of where the books are kept. Pointing in there general direction doesn’t help me in finding a specific book. It’s kind of like standing outside and saying “my house it over there”.
“I don’t know who wrote the book/the title of the book/my instructors name/my class number.” Funny, neither do I. Of the two of us, I’d say that it’s a bigger problem for you. Guess you might want to figure it out then, eh?
“I had this book out once before but I can’t remember the title/author but I remember that it was yellow/blue/red/any other colour.” That would be helpful if we sorted our material by colour. Which we don’t. Or if we kept records of every item you’ve ever taken out (and had them listed by colour). Which we don’t. Are you seeing the problem?
“I have it written down but I forgot it at home/lost it/threw it away.” So what you’re telling me is, you know where to find the information, have found it previously and somewhere along the way you became incapable of performing this miracle again? That really is a shame. An unhelpful shame, but a shame none the less.
This is not a complete list, mind you. But if you could at very least try to avoid these, I would be forever grateful. I will also try to advise you as more come up.
*These three normally come from one person, in that order.