Andrew AlbaneseNo one likes to see you bringing problems to the workplace – unless he or she is a reference librarian.

Once upon a time, reference librarians assisted patrons to find something – usually in a book. In 2016, the job is to work out what the problem is, then find the proper resources to solve it.

Today’s library user wants help doing things, rather than finding things,” notes Andrew Albanese, Publishers Weekly senior writer.

As one librarian told us, reference librarians should not be as passive as those old reference resources that stood on the shelves, waiting to spill their treasures,” he tells CCC’s Chris Kenneally. “Instead, librarians must strive to get to the root of the patron’s problem. Not ‘what are you looking for?’ or even ‘How can I help you?’ but, ‘What problem are you trying to solve?’

Every Friday, CCC’s “Beyond the Book” speaks with the editors and reporters of “Publishers Weekly” for an early look at the news that publishers, editors, authors, agents and librarians will be talking about when they return to work on Monday.

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