According to the American Library Association’s discussion of reference services, “reference work arose in the late 19th and early 20th century.” Now, the
Today, this form of reference service has been supplanted by newer computer technology, as the use of a mirror can be very unflattering to the user. Luckily for us, however, the Brothers Grimm recorded a few reference exchanges for posterity:
Chat log saved on Gloomy Night, Once Upon A Time
Reference User1: O mirror, mirror upon the wall, Who is the fairest fair of them all?
Mirror Operator: Hello mighty queen. Try asking “where can I find… yadda yadda”
Reference User1: Fine. Where can I find out who is the fairest fair of them all?
Mirror Operator: Ok, definitely don’t look in the mirror, cause that ain’t the answer…
Reference User1: But…
Mirror Operator: Did you try an encyclopedia, maybe a dictionary?
Reference User1: Uhm… Are we talking about Snow White again?
Mirror Operator: Look, I don’t normally suggest this, but you could try hotornot.com/
Chat log terminated by user