Monday, April 30, 2007

New York Public Library Names eBay Price Guide Among "Best of Reference" 2007

The New York Public Library has selected The eBay Price Guide for its "Best of Reference" list for 2007. "This isn't your grandfather's price guide," reads the description on the Best of Reference "Big Top Reference" brochure they handed out at an event last Friday. And I would definitely say these are not your grandfather's reference librarians!

The rest of the list can be found at:

I went up to New York last Friday for an event celebrating the list, held at the 53rd St. NYPL library. We were treated to a wonderful ensemble comedy show, with the reference librarians as the actors -- for each title, they performed a short skit or speech.

The skit for the eBay Price Guide was brilliant, I thought, and was a YouTube video parody of the infamous "lonelygirl15" -- only this was "librarygirl15." Here is a photo I took of the video presentation:


Librarygrl lived in a small town and was bored. Her mom was also making her help out for a yard sale and so they could put up some of her things on eBay, and she talked about using the eBay Price Guide to help out as a pricing tool.

Other skits included various famous feminists trick-or-treating for Halloween ("Encyclopedia of Feminist Literature"); a murder crime scene where an NYPL staffer shows up uninvited to help identify fingerprints and other bits of evidence ("Forensic Science: An Encyclopedia of History, Methods and Techniques"); and two rookie State Department employees who'd just been assigned to the Middle East, when their educations had been based on other parts of the world ("Political Handbook of the Middle East 2006").

The latter was published by CQ Press (Congressional Quarterly), and I got to meet three of their staffers in the coffee reception beforehand.  We all hail from DC, so we had that in common.

Some of the things on the list include web sites and databases, including blog tracker and Google Patent Search (

In all it was a fun, informative event and I'd like to extend a big thanks to the New York Public Library and their staff who made it happen.

Oh, and here's a pic of part of the "Best of Reference" window display and yours truly, standing in front of it.


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