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“Pig Ball and Stuck Skunks”: Reference Questions to Live For


Whoever thought librarians and other information providers don’t have lots to laugh and talk about when their work day is done, had better think again. The Sept 4th SF Chronicle had a great story, “Pig balls and stuck skunks: A 311 customer service rep has a window onto San Francisco’s secret heart,” by Chris Colin:

‘Forget the Golden Gate Bridge and House of Nanking and Zeitgeist on a summer night — the heart of San Francisco beats loudest on the carpeted second floor of that South Van Ness building you thought was Bank of America.
“Thank you for calling San Francisco 311, this is Kyle speaking, how may I help you?”
“Yes, there’s a skunk with his head stuck …”

Kyle Sutton is one of 50 or so customer service representatives, or CSRs, asking this question 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The free service launched in March not just to funnel 2,300 government phone numbers into a single line, but to give the city more of a service orientation. About 6,000 calls come in every day, and program director Ed Reiskin says 311 is on track to answer 2 million a year. …’

Librarians get these sorts of calls all the time – and we love it. It’s a wonderful world.

Thanks to Library Link of the Day for getting me to this story.

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