Advice? Where do you get some and when do you use it

Maybe you think you don’t need advice but I would argue that you most definitely do.

Advice is an ever evolving thing. Naturally we all  want to make our own decisions but that is hard so we seek out advice, I know I do and I know people close to me do too. Many try to find a sounding board and get help making a decision that seems or feels right at the time.

I remember as a kid in grade school going over a friend’s house and the two of us reading the Dear Abby column in the paper and learning all about advice. In case you didn’t know Pauline Phillips (aka Dear Abby aka Abigail Van Buren) died on January 16th at age 94. Saddened by her death I found myself reading several obituaries written for Dear Abby. I think the best one Carolyn Hax wrote. To me, Hax was completely on target when she stated: “nearly 50 years’ worth of 10-year-olds used one or both (referring to Dear Abby’s column and the Ann Lander’s advice column written by her twin sister, Eppie Lederer) of these columns to decode the cryptic world of adults.” Hax too, is an advice columnist who writes for the Washington Post.  I was one of those 10-year-olds Hax refers to and today, as I mentioned, I still read advice columns (betcha could have guessed that…)

Yet, regardless of the amount of advice I find and use on my own, I still seek out help from people and things I know well and not so well. Advice is definitely helpful when it comes to decision-making.

For example, it is a new year and new semester. Lots of decisions lie ahead. Do the reading tonight or wait until the next day? Call in sick to work and spend the day at Gasparilla or show up and do the job? Accept the job offer in Cleveland or stay here in Tampa? Stop eating junk food this week or put it off until February? And the list goes on….decisions are based on advice you give yourself and advice you receive. Some decisions will be good and some will be bad. That is life. That is what Dear Abby wrote about in all those thousands of advice columns: life. Living is hard and choices and decisions just as hard but aren’t we lucky to be able to seek out advice?

Maybe you need advice now and you can’t wait for your letter to get published in an advice column in the newspaper. No worries, that is something the library is perfect for, use the library databases to research your conundrum. Make a list of pros and cons based on your research. Ruminate what works and does not work. After all research is just another form of advice and the articles and books you find hopefully will provide you with the supporting and well documented advice your decision needs.

New to UT?  New to libraries? No worries my friend, here’s a little advice from me to you, ask a librarian! We are here to help. After all, if you thought Fall semester chugged along at as pace as quick as a snail, watch out, Spring semester will fly by almost as quickly as that snow bird stealing your parking spot at Publix.  I am not kidding, February is FRIDAY! So, get on the ball today and seek out your needed library advice, i.e. research assistance, i.e. general library help, we are here for YOU.


One response to “Advice? Where do you get some and when do you use it

  1. Great advice!
    Sometimes it’s good to ask for advice EVEN IF YOU ALREADY KNOW THE ANSWER. Because finding out how other people resolve the same problem, or what resources they use, can be invaluable.