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I recently did a mild rant HERE on how the Internet has taken over the world. I am grateful for the ability to instantly order an anti-wrinkle cream, learn about hair loss, and find out why my knee makes that weird clicking noise. I am frankly relieved I can instantly remove my crows feet with the click of a cheery “Order Here” link.

Can’t figure out how to spell the word “nausea?” Google it! Have a mysterious fungus on your hydrangea or whatever? Google it! Need to remove hard water stains on your bathroom faucet? Google it! (Or as my beloved uncle would say, “Google that up!”)

There was a lovely story on CBS This Morning about the New York City Public Library’s “Human Google.” There are real people sitting behind real desks who field real questions at the library’s “Ask Desk.” You can click here or call 917-ASK-NYPL and ask a live human being (as opposed to a dead human being) anything your little heart desires. I imagine they try to keep questions they field in the realm of PG-13 topics.

With access to tomes, research, and all things smarty-pants, the Human Google person will get you your answer! They may even consult the Internet in their quest to do your bidding. But one can assume that the person who resorts to calling Mr. or Ms. Human Google has already exhausted Mr. or Ms. Robot Google as reliable informant.

Those Human Google folks admit it might take them a tad longer than Robot Google on finding the more obscure tid-bits of information. But heck, the wait is worth it because if you have a burning need to know about monkey solicitation, wait no more!

“I am looking for a New York City law that prohibits solicitation by monkeys.”

Human Google will tell you the law dates back to 1887.

I can sleep at night now that I know that nugget of information.

In all seriousness, I think it is really cool that there is an information desk that isn’t in cyberspace.

Speaking of an information desk that is not in cyberspace (well, sorta), witness this recent text exchange with my daughter:

Daughter: “Mom, I’m going to the grocery store. What is your recipe for baked brie?”

Me: “I’m at the cabin and don’t have the baked brie recipe on me. Google it!”

Daughter: “Isn’t texting your mom the same thing as going on Google?”

So, moms are the original Human Google. Okay, dads might be too.

This post is for you, Audra, my Human Google friend!


This is Patience. Or he could be Fortitude. I always get them confused. New York Public Library needs to get them dog tags. Er, lion tags.