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Librarians to Continue Helping Hand for Students

Librarians to Continue Helping Hand for Students


Students won’t be left scratching their heads over tricky homework questions after sponsorship of the award-winning service was confirmed for another year.

Telecom and Sun Microsystems Ltd are jointly sponsoring the award-winning online service which allows school students to ask librarians to help them find information needed for their schoolwork.

Since AnyQuestions was launched in February, librarians from the National Library of New Zealand, The Ministry of Education through Te Kete Ipurangi and the Auckland, Manukau, Wellington and Christchurch City libraries have answered more than 7000 questions from children around the country.

Geraldine Howell, Director of School Services at the National Library of New Zealand Te Puna - tauranga o Aotearoa, said demand for the service had exceeded their expectations.

“We knew that there would be some demand for the service given that students increasingly turn to the Internet for research, but our librarians have been run off their feet each afternoon helping students find answers to continuous streams of questions.

“On an average day the three librarians running AnyQuestions will handle fifty to sixty queries from students. The demand has been so strong that we’ll shortly be adding an extra librarian to the service”

“Most of them are fairly straightforward requests for information about certain subjects, but we also deal with some tricky ones,” she said.

Some of the more interesting questions have included:
• How much money is lost in Las Vegas in one day?
• Do taniwhas eat?
• What’s the biggest rabbit ever caught by a cat?
• How are black holes and worm holes related?
• Why do trees need roots?
• Why does your eye go red when it gets hit?
• How much sugar is in fizzy drinks?

AnyQuestions has also captured the attention of the government, management and library sectors, scooping the GOVIS Buzzie Award for Technology and Society, the SOLGM New Zealand Post Management Excellence Award for Process Management and the 3M Award for Innovation in Libraries.

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