What this has to do with reference, I don't know, but sometimes it's fun when random things connect on the Internet. Two articles came through the wires recently that seem related.
Narcissism, Partnership, and Strategy
Article reports on a study tracking narcissism in students. The take-it-to-the-bank quote is as follows: "the mean narcissism score of 2006 college students on the Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI) approached that of a celebrity sample of movie stars, reality TV winners and famous musicians." (hat-tip to http://twitter.com/jerilyn)
This report, one of trendwatching.com's monthly Trend Briefings, calls status "the ultimate (hidden) motive, a subconscious but ever-present force." But it takes a surprising angle on status, noting that "consumers are starting to recognize and respect fellow consumers who stray off the beaten consuming-more-than-thou-path, [and that] 'new' status can be about acquired skills, about eco-credentials, about generosity, about connectivity..."
Do these reports shed any light on the people who approach (or avoid) our reference desks? Do they offer any hints regarding outreach strategies we might try? I don't know, to be honest. All I'm saying is that it's funny they came across my desk on the same day.