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If You Need a Question Answered and Google Is Down, There’s a Number You Can Call

Ever wonder what life was like before internet search engines like Google? How did people get answers to all-important questions like ‘what’s the average life expectancy of a frog’, or ‘is there a full moon every night in Acapulco?’ Many of them turned to the ‘ask a librarian’  phone service of the New York Public Library, and, believe it or not, some of them still do it today.

They are called the “human google”, a team of real-life people whose main purpose while on the job is to search 120-years worth of archives and provide answers to some of the strangest, most complicated questions available. Set up during the 1940s, when search engines and the internet weren’t even ideas yet, the Ask NYPL department is made up of nine librarians and information assistants who cater to the needs of people who don’t have access to modern technology or simply prefer to interact with another human being.

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