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Telephone Reference Service Then and Now

ABOVE: Monika Cooper at her computer in Questline 1990s.

Telephone Reference Service – The Albertson Public Library

An article by George Butler published in the Orlando Morning Sentinel in December 1949 mentions telephone reference service provided by librarians working at the Albertson Public Library and some of the interesting questions they are asked.

“The library staff got one of their biggest kicks when a woman called by phone and wanted to know the meaning of ‘battle-axe.’ The plumbers working at her home, she explained, gave her that description.”

Mentioned in the article are research librarian Miss Floy Sadler and head librarian Miss Clara E. Wendel.

Read more about the Albertson Public Library. 

Questline – Telephone Reference Service at the Orlando Public Library

The Orange County Library System’s telephone reference department is now called Questline. The physical location of the department is on the third floor of the Orlando Public Library in downtown Orlando. Questline staff must be able to answer account questions, renew and reserve materials, provide general reference service, assist with booking meetings, rooms and scheduling events, explain library policies and rules and much more.

They also assist customers in downloading apps and provide general instruction on the use of databases and other online accessible resources. They must be knowledgeable about every aspect of the Orange County Library System and all of the activities and programs offered in all of our branches and know who to contact if they should ever get stumped by a customer question!

Carl “Captain Crunch” Brown, online network approach to phone reference service.

Tic Tac Toe

In the 1990s the computer software that kept track of customers being service by the librarians was called Tic Tac Toe.

Tic Tac Toe System – Questline 1990s

Nedra Blanke and Craig Wilkins assisting customers in Questline in the 1990s

Questline Staff in the mid 2000s with manager Gregg Gronlund at the Helm

Questline telephone reference service staff during the time Gregg Gronlund was manager of the department.

L-R top: Gregg Gronlund, Kathryn Robinson, Jennifer, Rohane, Owen Spencer, Adriana, Olga Rodriguez, Gregg, Corey, Owen Spencer, Jen, Luis.

L-R middle: Gregg Gronlund, Ryan Slauter, Jennifer, Rohane, Olga Rodriguez

L-R bottom: Shaun, Tammy Erikstrup, Gregg Gronlund, Jane Tracy, Warren French, Gregg Gronlund.


Fiscal year 2005-2006 Stats for Questline from the Questline scrapbook page – Staff Day 2006, shows average calls per month of 17, 413.



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Questline in the 90's

Craig Wilkins, from Questline, circa 1990's.

Questline TicTacToe Monitor 1995

Early days of Questline in 1995, TicTacToe Monitor system.

Questline Tutorial

Carl "Captain Crunch" Brown, online network approach to phone reference service.


Monika Cooper, Questline


Nedra Blanke, Craig Wilkins

OCLS Staff Day 2006 - Questline

OCLS Staff Day 2006 - Questline

Telephone Reference Service - Albertson Public Library - 1949

Telephone Reference Service - Albertson Public Library. This article published in a December 1949 issue of the Orlando Morning Sentinel by George...

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