This week’s Session of the Week was submitted by Nono Burling, the statewide coordinator of Ask WA. This chat started off as a potential prank (“do fish poop?”) and became a potential crisis call (“what are the signs of a nervous breakdown because I think I'm having one“). Nono praised the librarian for taking the patron seriously by sending an appropriate crisis line phone number and following it up with information about the situation (in this case, a link from the Mayo clinic on signs of a nervous breakdown), following the Crisis Call policy to perfection: http://wiki.questionpoint.org/w/page/13839422/247-Policies#453Suicidalpatronsandcrisiscalls. Here’s the session, with personal information removed:
Patron: do fish poop? also do fish sleep?? my fish seems like it never sleeps.
Librarian: Hello! I'm a librarian from <name of Coop library>. I help out when your librarians are busy. Just a moment while I look at your question.
Librarian: This question about sleep and fish is really interesting...because according to this article at least fish may not have eyelids...
Patron: also do they poop?
Librarian: I'll find something on that...
Librarian: Here is one more thing on the sleeping...
Librarian: So the answer to do fish poop is yes.
Librarian: Do you want more information, like a website or article on that?
Librarian: Is it a certain type of fish you are asking about?
Patron: Yeah, I have a beta fish and i've never seen him like… go to the bathroom
Librarian: Okay, I am looking to see if I can find anything on that.
Patron: thank you
Librarian: so I found a forum where they discuss what healthy poop might look like from a beta fish...
Librarian: It sounds like you are not the only one who has wondered this because other people have posted this question.
Librarian: Does that answer your question? Is there anything else I can help you with?
Patron: yeah I'm sorry to bother you but like one more thing what are the signs of a nervous breakdown because i think I'm having one
Librarian: Of course I can find something on that.
Librarian: Do you want information of someone you could call and talk to get help right away?
Patron: no i just need to know some of the signs because I'm not 100% sure but i'm like 60% sure this is a nervous breakdown
Librarian: Okay absolutely.
Librarian: [patron’s name removed], I know you said you don't want a phone number to call, but just in case I am going to give you one.
Patron: okay thank you
Librarian: [Librarian sends crisis hotline number for patron’s state]
Librarian: Do you feel like you are in any danger to yourself or others right now?
Librarian: Okay, let me get back to the signs like you asked for.
Librarian: Let me know if this looks helpful to you.
Patron: yeah it is i'm experiencing 2 out of the 3 things listed
Librarian: Okay, what do you think about me finding a local health practitioner you could talk to right now?
Patron: i think i might call that number
Librarian: I think they would be a good resource...
Librarian: Can I stay online with you until you have them on the phone?
Patron: no its okay I'm going to dial right now thank you for all of your help i really appreciate it
Librarian: The first number I gave you is a suicide hotline number. I think I could help you find another phone number for a nurse or doctor if you think that would help.
Patron ended chat session
Thanks to Nono for submitting this Session of the Week! If you would like to nominate a session, send it Quality [click on the Send to Quality link in the complete session view in the Review Transcripts tab, or email either email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org] and I’ll send a compliment to the chatting librarian as well. Thanks again to all who have submitted a SOTW; I’ll be posting those in the coming weeks!