NYPL Keeps Whiny Old Ladies From Facing 21st Century

And so you ask yourself, who — in this era of Google and Nexis and online dictionaries and encyclopedias — who would ever bother to use an old-fashioned reference librarian anymore, let alone the New York Public Library's vaunted — and, as it turns out, not-yet-eliminated — telephone reference service? The Times knows:

Maura Cavanagh, 68, a writer and theatrical producer in West Cornwall, Conn., called the staff last week. She had been stuck for days on how to find the address for the Society of the Cincinnati, a group once headed by George Washington for the descendants of Revolutionary War officers.

To Ms. Cavanagh's delight, Valerie Stegmayer, 55, a telref staffer, found the address in moments on a database.

It is also easily Googled. "I don't enjoy using a computer," Ms. Cavanagh said, "because you're given a very poor and misleading version of what is available."

Aren't you pleased your tax dollars can keep Ms. Cavanaugh from the poor and misleading horrors of her computer?

Library Phone Answerers Survive the Internet [NYT]