Archives are not the place to run in to check a quick fact and then again, sometimes they are. Archives generally are about indepth research. It takes time to read through original sources and find the information that will prove or disprove your hypothesis about a person or event. Often reference staff will slow you down and go over the question(s) that you are looking to answer. We are attempting to narrow the field of the many resources we hold to get you to the ones that have information that you are requesting. Sometimes the answer you want is not the one you get.
Then again, sometimes researchers ask a question that has been asked many times and the reference staff does have the answer immediately. It can happen. Either way, archives are a great place to find answers.