In my first shift as a reference assistant I spent some time on the desk, answering questions, signing kids up for programs and such. I’m a big fan of the following interaction (my first non-computer related assistance):
12-Year-Old Boy: Do you know about Adolf Hitler?
12yo: What was the book he wrote?
Me: Mein Kampf.
12yo: Do you have that?
Me: Let me check… *rummage through computer* Yes we do. *pause* Would you like me to help you find it?
Me: See, it’s over in the adult section because it’s not really a kid’s book, here in biographies because he wrote it in prison. *find find find* Aha. That’s it.
12yo: *flipping through* It’s really big.
Me: Yep it is.
12yo: It’s translated, right?
Me: Yep. You don’t need to be able to read German.
12yo: Have you read it? Is it good?
Me: I haven’t, so I don’t really know. It’s not exactly a fun adventure story or anything.
12yo: Maybe I’ll wait till I’m older.
Me: Probably a good idea.
Five minutes later he asked for help finding Disney’s Treasure Planet on VHS.