How could we obtain information in the days before the internet? Well, apart from the library there was always the telephone operator.
Officially, their role was to help customers make calls and find numbers, but they would often be willing to go beyond that.
Uclue Researcher sublime1 brought to my attention a delightful and touching story of a young boy who made use of this “Information service” in unconventional ways.
Sadly, the friendly and caring telephone operator seems to be an endangered species.