“And then there’s a whole section, which I really liked. And it’s basically set in 1937. She describes what people called in to the library to ask. So this would have been basically the audio analog version of Google. And so it’s questions like the number of radios in Los Angeles and burial customs in Hawaii. That’s just cool.”
This is one of the things Jay said when we discussed The Library Book by Susan Orlean on the podcast. And he’s right. It is cool.
Wouldn’t it be great to find out what people are asking the library in real-time, right now? Well, actually, you can. The Toronto Public Library has a search dashboard providing anonymized information on what people are searching for at any given moment.
As I write this, the searches that are scrolling by include “bad kitty,” “bitcoin and crypto currency” and “gina darling.”
Sometimes people search for incredibly generic terms like “sex.” Or they might have a particular title in mind.
Sometimes you can see someone trying out different spellings.
Any time of the day or night, someone is searching for something at the library.
Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun
Rock music 2021-2030
air fryer perfection…
I’m going to go look up “spaghetti in a hot dog bun” now.