Sometimes, in the midst of stretching your tiny mind in order to help people search for subjects on which you know nothing about, the library gods smile upon you and several kids ask you about topics on which your knowledge (at least at an undergrad level) is considerable.
For background, I work at one fancypants graduate school and have somehow made people happy when I helped them find something and can barely spell or pronounce their topic. I also work at my local state school, which is mostly undergrads and anything can happen.
In the same day I had two kids doing U.S. history papers. The first asked about U.S. war propaganda and maybe wanted to compare to other countries, probably axis powers. And, while I really did give him searching tips, I started by basically selling him John Dower’s War Without Mercy, and I was probably too pumped about him diving into disturbing American and Japanese war posters. Also, told him Casablanca counted as propaganda.
Then I got an international student who needed to learn anything about Lincoln. I steered her into reading some James McPherson. His writing is clear, substantial yet succinct, and actually fun to read. I didn’t want to introduce a young person to a new subject in her second language by giving her something long and pedantic.
I am usually very worried about things working out for patrons, but I took the time to indulge in feeling like a boss.