So you think librarians are all shy homebodies who wear Coke-bottle-bottom glasses.
Then you haven't met Deseret News librarian Audrey Clark. All she has in common with prevailing stereotype is her glasses - which, she says, aren't thick.Clark has been the newspaper's librarian since February 1984, when longtime librarian Connie Christensen retired. Before that Clark worked as a library file clerk.
She says that when she first came to work for the newspaper nine years ago - partly on a whim after her brother teased her about not having a job - she really didn't plan on sticking around.
Now she manages a four-member library staff and is responsible for keeping updated reference files of practically every story that appears in the Deseret News.
Recently she talked the bosses into buying her a new toy - an electronic retrieval system - to help with the task. Cut and paste meets high tech.
"Ninety percent of the newspaper is saved anyway," Clark explained. "But instead of saving it by hand like we used to, now it's saved in the computer."
Although the newspaper's library is mostly meant to assist reporters in writing their stories, Clark said, it's also serves as a public resource. During her tenure, she's fielded just about every question - from crock pot to crackpot.
"People will call asking, `What's the population of this or that.' Most of the questions can be answered with an encyclopedia or an almanac, but they call us first," Clark said.
Many questions are domestic in nature, like those dealing with cooking and household chores. At least once a year, someone will call asking how to get ink out of clothes.
Others are just plain bizarre.
"One person called and asked about the gestation period of a medium-sized dog. So I told them it was the same as any other sized dog."
Another asked which months constituted the monsoon season in India.
If the questions get too wacky or vague, Clark said, even she grudgingly has to admit defeat sometimes. Her favorites are of the friend-of-a-friend-of-another-friend variety.
"Someone will call with very sketchy or vague information about a story they think ran in the newspaper. I just tell them that I'm sorry, but that I can't help them."
But as callers to the library know, that's not very often.