Monday, June 27, 2022

Herbs, spices, and the perils of library work


I checked out a couple library books for a man at our front desk. He picked up one of our free bookmarks that I ordered before the pandemic and have only put out for the public now. It has a picture of an herb.

"What herb is this?" The man asked.

"Rosemary." I answered. "Scratch it and smell it."

He was confused as to where to scratch it. So I came around the desk, scratched its general scratch spot, and handed it to him. He smelled it. He was impressed.

"Scratch and sniff." He said.

"Scratch and sniff." I responded.

He asked "What is the difference between an herb and a spice?"

"An herb is the leafy part of the plant. Spices come from the roots and seeds and other stuff." I replied, winging it.

"Oh." He said. "So the herbs are the leaves and spices are the rest of the plant?"


He started to walk away, and then I realized I'm at the library and have a higher responsibility to accuracy than just winging it. "That's just off the top of my head." I said. "Do you want me to look it up to be sure?"

"No thanks. I'm good."

As soon as the guy was gone I looked it up.

My answer was right. 


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