"One of the number one comments that we get from callers is, 'Thank God I've reached a human being,' " said Rosa Li, who manages the library's Ask Desk. "Even on chat sometimes people will say, 'Is this a robot or a person?' We have to laugh and say, 'I'm a real person.' "
The Ask Desk receives about 300 inquiries a day--via telephone, e-mail, chat and text message. "Facebook, Twitter, and even snail mail queries from New Yorkers and even people from around the world," Li said, adding: "We love the fact that more and more things are online. The computer is a tool for us, so the faster we can find an answer for somebody, the better."
CBS News also asked Li what she is able to discern after answering a question. "Gratitude," she replied. "Also, that moment--that 'A-ha!,' that 'A-ha!' moment is great to listen to. Hearing that joy in their voice. It's almost like a little checkmark goes off and it's like, OK, I've managed to accomplish that!"