Brian was nearly single-handedly responsible for labeling the entire tree collection! Another, more challenging task, was working through problem tree identifications which he relished. He methodically compared printed descriptions with specimens from several locales before making a recommendation to staff about what he thought the tree might be.
Slowly, I was able to help with his reference questions. It wasn’t really a question of me learning more about the possible plants that could grow here. It was a question of us deciding to work through all our preconceived notions of the reference librarian/library customer interaction. What Brian taught me over and over is that reference always works better if it is not a one shot, “Tell me the answer to this question” sort of deal.