A common experience on the reference desk . . . and now HBR has some advice…

How to Answer an Unanswerable Question


And more in this moment, we’re getting asked questions like when will our library re-open?, what’s going to happen? and when will Covid-19 end?

It’s time to read this article.

Acknowledge your own anxiety. 

Listen for the need underneath the question.

Ask questions that help others find strength. 

Don’t interpret questions as critique.

Practice your tone and physical delivery ahead of time.