There's not much to do during down times at the library, you could read but why would you want to do that?
I have resorted to people watching from the circ desk. I have also gotten very good at guessing patrons ages +/- 3 years, but it only works for female patrons. Needless to say I get bored at work often (see exhibit 1a: photo album of the library).
It's even worse when I'm not working the desk. So what to do when I'm working the phones? Well, I do have the library's entire database at my disposal. I began to query odd names to see what hits I would get. It just started out as something to give off the appearance that I am actually doing backroom work to anyone who passes by but when I realized how many 'unusual' names there are, I started to write them all down.
Aided by my PICAW (partner in crime at work), Rebecca, we've come up with a pretty impressive list so far: first and middle names only. There are only so many people in the library database so this is not as extensive or thoroughly researched as the one case in Freakonomics. But it is funny to see what names do come up, they are all broken down by topic and there are several sections.
So what is in a name? Apparently, geographic locations are very popular. Is it because it is the place of their conception? Birth? I don't know, maybe I'll ask Denmark next time. But we do have a well-represented United Nations in the library system.