It's been said there are no stupid questions, but after years in the reference/book biz i beg to differ. At the very least i have had more than a few annoying conversations that i would have preferred not to have been a party to.
And then there were the two women who came into the bookstore at Christmastime looking for the children's book that had a title beginning with the word "The". They stood in front of me at the counter making that circling motion with their hands saying "you know, The..." and the problem was they wouldn't stop, they just kept standing there, repeating "The..." they didn't know anything else about the book but they didn't understand why that wasn't enough to go on. Finally someone else came up to the counter who needed to be rung up and they went off in search of someone who knew a little more about books than i did.
Another time i'm standing at the info desk when a woman comes up and insists that the books are not in any kind of order whatsoever and she can't find the novel she's looking for, "They are NOT arranged by author like they should be!" When i walk with her to the shelf and pull the book right from where it is supposed to be her response is, "oh, well I'm from out of town." and it is SO hard for me to NOT say "They don't have the alphabet where you're from?"
And the woman who walked all the way around the information desk at the library with a very confused look on her face, when i finally asked her if i could help her she asked "Just what kind of information do you give out here anyway?" Tempted to ask her for the secret password, i instead tried to very simply explain the nature of reference librarianship and she then asked me what they did at the circ desk which i also explained (wondering if she had ever seen an information desk anywhere--mall, airport, etc--i mean is information such an uncommon entity?)
I suppose the upside is with such an uninformed populace, we "Information Professionals" can maintain our job security--although as i am constantly reminded (especially as in the last instance) those most in need of our services don't even know they need it!