“Every single day, every single person seems to have a question they need answered. Most of us turn to Google – but not everyone. Some choose to go the human route.
The Seattle Public Library’s Quick Information Center has a staff of 25 people* whose job is to answer your questions, over the phone, in five minutes or less. They’ve been doing this since 1976.
“A kid called up who was doing a school project and he wanted to know the date that fire was invented. If we didn’t know the exact date, just the year was going to be okay,” laughed library associate four, Jon Triesch.
Jon has been manning the QIC phone lines since 1997.
“We still get quite a few calls, where people don’t have access to the technology themselves. We also talk to a lot of people who are kind of finding their way through our society. People like recent immigrants. Even just people who are new to the area here and they don’t know Seattle that well. So they’re trying to figure out how to do certain things that we all take for granted. Like, a lot of people will call up and ask, ‘Who do I call up to get my electricity turned on?'” ”