Summary of an interaction I had last week:
A college student walks up to the desk and asks for a biography on an American from anywhere between 1604 and 1863, and it can't be on George Washington. She gives me a blank look when I joke with her that only some of those books will actually be on Americans and shows no interest when I tell her that the only distinctions we make on the biographies are the African American stickers that are found throughout the collection. So we begin browsing the new biographies because the collection is smaller and I don't want her to feel overwhelmed. After finding a few that don't really fit the time period quite right (she wants to go ahead and get the book on the woman born in 1865 ("It's only a couple of years off), not really getting that her professor may just fail her without considering her work after she took so little care in selecting an appropriate subject. Then...she has an idea of her own: "Sammy Adams!" she exclaims, "He invented that beer, right?" I immediately rushed over to the catalog terminal and wrote down the call number for the only biography we had available on him and insisted that she go upstairs to retreive the book from the older portion of the collection.