ACRL OnPoint Chat Archive July 29, 2009: Are Reference Desks Passe?
( 10:00 a.m Pacific | 11:00 a.m. Mountain | 12:00 p.m. Central | 1:00 p.m. Eastern)
Many academic libraries are eliminating reference desks and focusing on referrals, roaming reference, satellite reference and/or virtual reference instead. This session will explore the causes and consequences of this trend. During this OnPoint chat, consider the following questions: (1)What is driving the trend toward elimination of reference desks? (2)Are alternate services sufficient to meet patrons' needs? (3)Without desks, how do reference staff stay in touch with patrons' needs and wants? Kansas State University's Danielle Theiss-White, General Reference Coordinator, Jason Coleman, Service Coordinator, and Laura Bonella, Reference Generalist, will convene this OnPoint chat.
Transcript Archive:09:59 George ACRL's directions said the same icon would appear in the lists of rooms at meebo.com but I didn't see it there? did anyone else?
09:59 laurabonella Danielle, one of the other moderators, got kicked off, and now we're full so we can't get her back on
09:59 laurabonella Is there anyone who has several people from the same library, who might be able to share a computer
09:59 laurabonella To give up a spot for her?
09:59 Chelibrarian I'll log off
09:59 laurabonella Thanks!
09:59 JoynerRef2009 george: no i never saw that icon either
10:00 skadaddy test
10:00 Chelibrarian my colleagues at Joyner will take good note!
10:00 Chelibrarian Good luck! :)
10:00 laurabonella Thanks so much :)
10:01 guest2646753 Here at St John's we have a couple viewing - Ill logoff.
10:01 si11y When does the content start?
10:01 laurabonella We're just about to start - as soon as we can manage to get our other moderator logged on :)
10:01 jengoria woohoo, got in the room!
10:01 margotconahan Thanks, St. Johns! We'll get started in just a minute.
10:01 laurabonella Hi Margot - Danielle got kicked off and we can't get her back on because it's full
10:01 laurabonella Is there anything we can do?
10:02 guest494771 Testing
10:02 guest738627 I will get off. Will the chat be posted ?
10:02 laurabonella Yes, the transcripts will be posted
10:03 margotconahan Hi Laura, we're working to see if we can squeeze Danielle in. Do you mind kicking off while we work on getting her in?
10:03 guest738627 thanks, goodby
10:03 archivist49 I will get off, too, since the transcripts will be posted
10:03 laurabonella Sure, we'll go ahead and start
10:03 jasmacol Ok. We will go ahead and get started.
10:03 laurabonella Hi, I'm Laura Bonella from K-State
10:04 gilpearl Hi Laura
10:04 laurabonella jasmacol is the other facilitator - Jason Coleman. We're going to use purple font.
10:04 gilpearl Hi Jason
10:04 jasmacol If you haven't yet had a chance, please go to
10:04 jasmacol and take a quick poll.
10:05 laurabonella And here's a google group we set up:
10:05 laurabonella For more information and future discussion
10:05 jasmacol We'll start out with the first question on our list: What is driving the trend toward elimination of reference desks? Budget Cuts or Virtual?
10:05 kwasi Testing
10:05 jasmacol or something else
10:05 laurabonella Discuss :)
10:05 trasmi actually - slower business for our university
10:05 genstudieslibn At my institution, budget cuts *and* traffic
10:06 TJLynch I think its trends downward in questions
10:06 kingv Budget's big here at OregonState, but types of questions have changed a LOT too
10:06 liorah We haven't eliminated our desk but we've cut hours due to budget cuts
10:06 genstudieslibn or lack thereof
10:06 gilpearl we're getting many fewer questions at ref--everyone's using google!
10:06 brphilli At my library, more a cut in traffic at the ref desk with "tougher" questions
10:06 kingv still lots of questions, but they're more technical than reference
10:06 Sparkle48 More computing/printing ? than ref
10:06 JoynerRef2009 that is true we are getting tougher and more technical questions
10:06 liorah we have vacant positions we can't fill due to budgeting so the remainder of us work fewer hours at the desk
10:06 gilpearl at our library, about 80% of our questions are directional!
10:06 samhines what about trends toward providing point of need service? As in, the point of need is in the stacks, at the patron's computer
10:06 mathphylib At Duke, we've found that more involved, research questions are moving to IM and we're getting more directional questions in the mix at the desk.
10:06 janw fewer questions and fewer people to answer them
10:07 JoynerRef2009 we are moving a lot of those tougher ones from IM to email
10:07 alesiamc Less traffic so is it the best way for reference staff to reach students at their point of need?
10:07 trasmi we hardly see people in the stacks
10:07 brphilli We're also doing more help by appointment, especially for grad students & faculty
10:07 kingv to me, roving just seems like not a very good use of our more limited time; VR is better cause we can do other things while waiting for Qs
10:07 ref_librarian the budget and fewer questions and smaller staff
10:07 Mary Scanlon we've been encouraging students to schedule personal research sessions w/ the subject specialists
10:08 sbk18 At Ramapo College of NJ, we're still getting "help me with my research" questions, but not as many...
10:08 kingv yes, appointments are more popular now at OSU too
10:08 ckump We've seen an increase in our instruction session in the last few years.
10:08 Sparkle48 agree that VR should be priority
10:08 jonesphi Librarians have lots to do in addition to work the reference desk.
10:08 alesiamc Our instruction stats have held steady and VR stats are climbing.
10:08 scilib I'm in a mostly med school library and we wouldn't dream of bothering patrons in the stacks or anywhere else
10:08 gilpearl we're planning to increase the number of student research consultations we do by app't but we're concerned that undergrads will not allow enough time to schedule
10:08 JoynerRef2009 one on one consultations and instruction sessions have increased
10:08 Sparkle48 # of one-on-one research consultations increasing every year
10:08 brphilli Us too (Univ of Wisconsin's Ag & Life Science Library) -- lots of instruction
10:08 jasmacol Here at K-State, we are facing many of the same issues. We are having budget cuts and our patrons are steadily moving more and more to online service.
10:09 samhines what we've found is that many of our virtual customers are actually in the building :-)
10:09 gilpearl but we're concerned about the students who want immediate help with real research
10:09 JoynerRef2009 at ECU we have not found that undergraduate students are in a big hurry, in fact they sometimes take more time
10:09 samhines Sometimes we finally get up from the desk and go over to where they are
10:09 jasmacol As a consequence, we recently consolidated several of our reference desks and now have one main service point.
10:09 kwasi a combination of reduced activity. the n eed for ref librarians to be inother places (physically and virtually) and the growing demands on ps staff
10:09 George Best use of Ref. Lib time is also a consideration. IE should we be sitting there without traffic late nights/weekends/slow afternoons considering all our other responsibilties? Which are likely to expand considering budget needs
10:09 ckump We were wondering about that samhines. we think that will happen here once we get text ref up and running.
10:09 trasmi yeah, our concern is workload and the heap of other responsibilties librarians have
10:10 gilpearl has anyone out there actually already eliminated their reference desk(s)?
10:10 kingv our IM is very popular too; don't do text yet but think it might also prove popular when we get there
10:10 leighmantle ckump - what are you using for text ref please and any one else out there using text ref?
10:10 Sparkle48 We tried merged service desk but librarians would get asked "circ" ? so felt uncomfortable in that setting
10:10 TJLynch Have you also consolidated libraries?
10:10 brphilli not here, though we're consolidating w/ circ & infolab
10:10 scilib We are vey close to eliminating ref desk "hours" completely
10:10 merriealynn67 People do use IM/Virtual reference, but we only get a few questions an hour
10:10 jam_asulib We haven't had a reference desk for a couple of months now.
10:10 kwasi what about the single service point......
10:10 George our Im is serving more as a "call bell" for ref when people stop by other desks than it is actually a reference question communication point
10:10 ckump We just bought an iPhone and are working on getting text ref ready for fall. Haven't actually started it yet.
10:10 trasmi how's it going without a desk?
10:10 merriealynn67 If we got that on the reference desk, we'd think we didn't get much traffic
10:10 SusannaS I'm a "one-person library", so whenever I'm here the ref desk is staffed!
10:10 ref_librarian have any one utilize students in a triage format?
10:10 merriealynn67 and also that's for 9 libraries
10:10 kingv we've removed faculty librarians from desk, but are hiring part time generalists for our desk
10:11 gilpearl so how's it going w/o the ref desk jam?
10:11 laurabonella What do those of you do who don't have reference desks at all?
10:11 JoynerRef2009 how did you set up a triage format?
10:11 kingv fewer staff at desk, but still have a desk here
10:11 merriealynn67 I don't think that if you look at VR as if it were at the reference desk it would look like that much traffic
10:11 kwasi who is on the desk?
10:11 jam_asulib Unfortunately I can't tell you much, because librarians don't work at the new combined service point. Only circ staff and a few remaining "reference" staff.
10:11 scilib without ref hourse, we are planning on a triage model with referral to a librarian
10:12 ckump I find that I get more questions when I wander about the library. Some students don't want to approach someone at the desk but if you're walking by they will stop you and ask a question.
10:12 George we're exploring a referral model too
10:12 samhines There is talk of a triage model here and we sort of do that with a referral system now
10:12 JoynerRef2009 scilib: explain triage model please
10:12 scilib but that librarian may or may not be available at the moment
10:12 kingv sclib, we are doing something very similar at OSU
10:12 leighmantle we're doing triage at Mount Holyoke College this summer and it seems to be working well - we get lots of faculty directly emailing us in the summer so it'll be different in fall
10:12 jasmacol We have established a triage model in which staff answer basic questions from the desk and refer more intense questions to an "on call" person.
10:12 ref_librarian how do students and faculty respond to the lack of a ref desk?
10:12 wccLibrary I will be on sabbatical in the fall looking at this question of combining service desks.
10:13 gilpearl i'd like to know the answer to that one ref_librarian
10:13 wccLibrary I would be interested in knowing where libraries have combined their desks
10:13 jam_asulib Some faculty and students are upset, most didn't mind the change. Our main problem is the location of the combined desk is not easy to see.
10:13 jasmacol We started that model this summer. It's working well so far, but the real test will be this Fall.
10:13 scilib we define triage as assessing the nature of the need and referring appropriately. Staff answer basic stuff and wil answer basic ref quesitons. Specialist refernce will be referred
10:13 laurabonella [Margot - any luck with getting Danielle on?]
10:13 kingv same here, Jason.
10:13 mathphylib ckump, how do you ID yourself as a librarian? How do students know when there is a librarian nearby to ask a question?
10:13 jam_asulib I think the system would work well if we had some generalist ref librarians on the desk, but we lost those in budget cuts.
10:13 alesiamc We don't have enough "general"/professional staff to set up a referral/triage-type service at a physical service point.
10:13 kingv we're beefing up student training in preparation
10:13 George another challenge to referral model is training a bit for the reference interview. often student staffed desks choose to answer part of the question instead of referring to us..anyone else find that?
10:14 kwasi what about other service points? Gov Docs? Media? Any consolidation there?
10:14 kingv for the "triage model"
10:14 gilpearl for those who have eliminated their ref desk already, do you think some students are falling through the cracks?
10:14 Giz Womack We are consolidating service desks here at ZSR-WFU
10:14 samhines Gilpearl I was wondering that as well. What do students do if a place/person to seek answers from is not readily available?
10:14 JoynerRef2009 we consolidated govdocs and reference and computer lab in general
10:14 jam_asulib Some students are definitely falling through the cracks, but hard to say how many. We can only hope we're picking them up in Chat reference and other ways.
10:14 Giz Womack Microtext and Gov Docs now at Ref Desk
10:14 danielle.theisswhite I'm IN! YAY!
10:14 Mary Scanlon we eliminated our microtext and gov docs service desks last week
10:15 brphilli And I got kicked off but am back
10:15 leighmantle for those who have consolidated desks have you promoted / marketed the new service point to students?
10:15 jasmacol Hi Danielle!
10:15 vogellib On the "further info" page, can we get links to info on some good student employee training programs for ref. assistance? We might as well pool ideas.
10:15 jam_asulib Our combined service desk is staffed 24 hours a day, so there is always *someone* for students to ask.
10:15 genstudieslibn we hand out business cards, but I really think they intimidate
10:15 kingv we eliminated govdocs desk several years ago--very little traffic there, but referrals to govdoc librarian are very high
10:15 danielle.theisswhite 2nd question!
10:15 genstudieslibn I think a very small percentage of the "carded" actually follow up
10:15 danielle.theisswhite Are alternate services sufficient to meet patrons' needs?
10:16 laurabonella We have consolidate all of our service desks except for special collections/archives
10:16 danielle.theisswhite what do you think?
10:16 brphilli Our walk-ins are mostly undergrads, and I think they just ask whoever is there
10:16 laurabonella We now have one
10:16 alesiamc We did set up a combined ref/circ point at our Science Library but the number of ref questions has really fallen off and we don't have enough staff there to relieve the reference librarians from desk duty.
10:16 jam_asulib I could definitely use some help and recommended resources for training Circ. staff.
10:16 ref_librarian I have the same concern as gilpearl. We can provide some help with lots of easily accessible help screens and short tutorials, but that relies on students planning well.
10:16 gilpearl i'm finding this a bit chaotic--it's hard to keep track of everyone's questions, answers and comments. is there some other more orderly way we could do it?
10:16 brphilli So we're also working on building up student training
10:16 samhines Danielle--by alternate services do you mean chat, referral, appointments etc?
10:16 kingv warm-body referrals are much better than handing out cards! otherwise many will just give up rather than call.
10:16 danielle.theisswhite We've moved on to our second question....Are alternate services sufficient to meet patrons' needs?
10:16 kwasi not to get off track, but for those who have shut down their desks...any print collection changes?
10:16 lcoats Whew! I'm with gilpearl on following...
10:17 danielle.theisswhite Print collection-- we don't have much of a ready reference anymore
10:17 kwasi that is print reference....
10:17 danielle.theisswhite and we have reduced our entire reference collection drastically
10:17 scilib we have very little print reference at all
10:17 samhines We got rid of our print reference collection last summer
10:17 genstudieslibn we're cutting print ref here too
10:17 wccLibrary Im not of the techie generation....HELP!
10:17 kingv we're eliminating our print ref section this summer
10:17 jfriedman.mit By alternate services, do you mean "anything that is not a reference desk"?
10:17 kwasi samhines, where do you work?
10:17 danielle.theisswhite yes, anything not physical
10:17 danielle.theisswhite desk
10:17 danielle.theisswhite what are you doing
10:17 samhines University of Montana
10:17 George we are also reducing the size of our print reference collection - much of it is being transferred to main
10:17 leighmantle why did you get rid of your print reference collection - space issues?
10:17 kwasi thanks!
10:17 TJLynch Have you switched to online sources?
10:17 JoynerRef2009 we heavily weeded the print reference collection this summer but still have most of it
10:17 danielle.theisswhite let's take the print reference collection question to the google grou[
10:17 danielle.theisswhite group
10:17 merriealynn67 My concern is that if you look at VR there isn't that much traffic if you thought you were on the ref desk -- There are still low numbers
10:17 Sparkle48 We have a general chat service plus subject librarians have their own chat widget on subject pages
10:17 samhines We got rid of it to utilze space better
10:18 danielle.theisswhite that can be one of our discussions there
10:18 samhines sorry Danielle :-)
10:18 danielle.theisswhite cool sparkle
10:18 janw we have chat and e-mail reference too. Neither one is used heavily.
10:18 colleenrobledo I agree with gilpearl. This free for all chat forum is a bit too chaotic.
10:18 kingv print ref is used very rarely anymore so we're going to use the space differently
10:18 ref_librarian We have reduced the size of our reference collection as well. This was facilitated by a lot of stuff available online.
10:18 scilib I think alternate forms of reference go along with evolving librarian roles on the whole. We are more than quick answer people!
10:18 jam_asulib We are same as Sparkle. General Chat service plus many subject librarians have their own chat widgets on their pages.
10:18 Mary Scanlon sometimes, IM just isn't the right medium for a reference session and we ask them to make an appointment or come to the desk
10:18 mathphylib sparkle, did you find it hard to get subject specialists to be 'available' all the time via IM?
10:18 George online ref works motivated our reference weeding project too
10:19 laurabonella So what about the alternate services you are using - do you think they are adequate?
10:19 laurabonella Can they be adequate?
10:19 samhines Re alternate services I just learned that electronic reference was only 3% of our transactions last year, wonder what we would lose without the desk
10:19 danielle.theisswhite here are our reference services
10:19 JoynerRef2009 having specialists available can be tricky
10:19 danielle.theisswhite we offer
10:19 danielle.theisswhite we use libraryh3lp which allows for multiple operators and referrals electronically
10:19 danielle.theisswhite does anyone else use that?
10:19 danielle.theisswhite it is AWESOME!
10:19 TJLynch They're (online) are usually older, not too old Credo for example
10:19 danielle.theisswhite check it out
10:19 kingv We use lots of stuff instead of desk--library IM, individual librarian widgets, specialist appointments, etc
10:19 JoynerRef2009 we are investigating libraryh3lp
10:19 samhines We have a similar setup as Sparkle, w/general IM and chat and individual librarians too
10:19 merriealynn67 samhines: I agree with you. I'm a specialist and have chat widget plus work on VR -- just a few questions an hour for 9 libraries
10:19 ckump mathlibphy, did you get my answer to your question? I got an error message when I tried to post it.
10:19 alesiamc We are planning to look into libraryh3lp.
10:19 mathphylib we love libraryh3lp at duke
10:20 Sparkle48 It varies based on individual. I get a # of chats on Sunday evenings when on from home during paper time ( I'm at Brown BTW)
10:20 leighmantle we use meebo but are looking libraryh3lp
10:20 danielle.theisswhite yes, we do too
10:20 jasmacol And, are there services/models that allow us to retain the best of extensive consultation while not tying us to a desk.
10:20 leighmantle MHC
10:20 samhines As an individual I have had less than five chats in the past two years
10:20 kwasi is the closing of the reference desk and the elimination of the ref collection resulting in more library instruction opportunities?
10:20 kingv danielle, we're probably going to change our meebo IM to Libraryh3lp soon!
10:20 jam_asulib we like libraryh3lp. Love would be a little strong, but it works very well for us.
10:20 danielle.theisswhite lots of VR resources on our google group
10:20 mathphylib ckump, no I didn't get your reply
10:20 brphilli We use all of those, but coming to a library in person & not being able to get help sounds awful
10:20 Susanb08540 sometimes I have over 80 in 3 hours too many to answer the questions well
10:20 Mary Scanlon IM represents nearly one third of our ref questions. we just picked up library h3lp - glad to hear so many of you like it
10:20 danielle.theisswhite cool, kingv
10:20 ckump we are not getting much traffic through chat. We are hoping text will be more used.
10:20 jasmacol We've found that widgets... lots of widgets are the key to boosting traffic.
10:20 danielle.theisswhite we switched to libraryh3lp a year ago after using meebo and now can transfer chats to other departments, like circ
10:20 brphilli We have campus-wide chat service, & also chat for our (subject) library
10:21 kingv agree, brphilli--should have SOME live person available!
10:21 danielle.theisswhite when we get questions for them
10:21 gilpearl1 i agree with brphilli
10:21 danielle.theisswhite and also to subject librarians
10:21 brphilli Lots of traffic at campus level, but not so much at our library
10:21 brphilli im traffic, that is
10:21 danielle.theisswhite our consolidated desk is going to have a reference staff member on call/sitting behind the desk
10:21 Mary Scanlon the chat links in LibGuides are also very helpful at driving traffic
10:21 danielle.theisswhite but we will have the front line person be mainly directional, referral, etc.
10:21 brphilli That's the direction I'm leaning, too (on call ref very nearby)
10:21 jasmacol I'm curious about using VOIP to make virtual reference more robust. Is anyone doing that?
10:21 kwasi do people use a kiosk for directional questions?
10:21 colleenrobledo We're using libraryh3lp too, at Cal State Fullerton. Our reference librarians seem to like the service. I'm a Systems Librarian... love the concept, and the functionality, but I can't stand the dependence on Pidgin as its I/M client.
10:21 TJLynch How about have NO ref desk?
10:22 gilpearl1 i think we have to differentiate between undergrads and grad students--the latter need less handholding (or should!)
10:22 scilib I have found IM to be too time consuming though. The same question in email form is often quicker to handle
10:22 danielle.theisswhite we have talked about it, but haven't done it yet
10:22 danielle.theisswhite Ohio did
10:22 ckump mathphylib, We all wear name badges (nice ones, not at all cheesy) and don't just wander, we will straighten books etc. We don't want to hover or seem like we are checking up on them.
10:22 brphilli Different handholding
10:22 samhines I have found grads to need less handholding but have more intensive needs
10:22 laurabonella Colleen - there's a webchat version now
10:22 ckump mathphylib, once you're out there, if you make eye contact, often they will ask a question.
10:22 Giz Womack We wear name badges at WFU as well
10:22 colleenrobledo Libraryh3lp is trying to work with Digsby to get their I/M client working with the service (a much better I/M client IMHO).
10:22 George do you find the front line person effective in referring questions back to you often enough? this returns to earlier thread of conversation about how folks are training front line/service desk staff to field referrals..
10:22 danielle.theisswhite ckump: how long have you been roaming?
10:22 lcoats gilpearl - some grads are returning students and sometimes need more handholding
10:22 kingv grads have harder Qs too, gilpearl1--consult appts better for them most of the time
10:22 danielle.theisswhite george: we just started this, so we'll evaluate as we go
10:23 gilpearl1 true
10:23 genstudieslibn George, I'm not comfortable with students on the desk
10:23 lcoats techie-wise, anyway
10:23 mathphylib ckump, thx for the suggestions
10:23 scilib we are planning to train on ref interviewing techniques and some more in-depth database search techniques with our circ desk staff
10:23 ckump Danielle, I've been doing it for years (I started here in 2002) but it's not an official policy. And we still have a desk.
10:23 gilpearl1 but for the most part, at our campus anyway, we worry about undergrads not having a ref desk to come to
10:23 StephenFrancoeur genstudieslbn: why?
10:23 George ditto - i'd prefer not to staff with students. have found them reluctant to refer appropriately
10:23 lcoats anybody still using email
10:23 brphilli yep
10:23 samhines We have similar reservations with students staffing the desk
10:23 laurabonella We use email
10:23 scilib yes, still email here
10:23 kwasi yes
10:24 leighmantle yes still using email at Mount Holyoke
10:24 JoynerRef2009 students at the desk sometimes don't know when to refer to a subject specialist
10:24 Susanb08540 yes
10:24 Mary Scanlon WFU still uses e-mail
10:24 janw we have an e-mail option
10:24 StephenFrancoeur Fac prefer email over chat here at Baruch College
10:24 genstudieslibn I just don't think any amount of training we can do can make up for how little time they have
10:24 kwasi to email
10:24 kingv I think if students are well trained they do really well, but you have to be clear about referral processes and check in frequently in our experience
10:24 gilpearl1 we still use email
10:24 ckump Student workers don't always know when to refer. They think they can answer the question but they can't
10:24 lcoats we have it but it's getting less and less traffic
10:24 Sparkle48 gilpearl - why?
10:24 brphilli more email questions than chat, or at least as many
10:24 danielle.theisswhite Training--for our consolidated desk this summer we have done 30m training sessions for all staff who work all levels (IM, frontline, and reference)
10:24 genstudieslibn they can't get their "chops" up
10:24 ref_librarian still use email
10:24 laurabonella Our IM refers there when it's outside service hours
10:24 danielle.theisswhite here is our training program
10:24 jam_asulib We still get a lot of email refernce; much of it from faculty!
10:24 alesiamc At our Science Library, undergrad students employees at the desk were sometimes reluctant to refer. They wanted to help by answering the question.
10:24 lcoats yes, faculty, no students
10:24 danielle.theisswhite students not referring-- that is a common issue
10:24 danielle.theisswhite that is in the literature
10:24 Mary Scanlon ditto what lcoats said
10:24 leighmantle laurabonella - what IM do you use that sends messages to email please
10:25 Sparkle48 On subject pages the char away message directs students to our
10:25 gilpearl1 has anyone gone through a semester (as opposed to the summer) without a ref desk?
10:25 ckump Yes, alesiamc, students want to be helpful! They don't always know how much they don't know.
10:25 genstudieslibn danielle -- that's a big problem
10:25 ref_librarian Has anyone asked the students and faculty what they wanted/preferred?
10:25 colleenrobledo Laurabonella: Nice to know. Although I prefer local I/M clients to web-based ones. Holding out hope they'll get it working with Digsby.
10:25 laurabonella It doesn't do it directly, just tells them our email address
10:25 brphilli Anyone have a good approach to dealing with the non-referring student staff member?
10:25 Mary Scanlon good question
10:25 Sparkle48 Ask-a- Librarian service or individual email acct
10:25 George we only staff im while we're in the building - i think i mentioned already, our chat is more of a call bell for us to walk out to ref. room
10:25 samhines good question ref_librarian!
10:25 StephenFrancoeur Is there anyone here who has gotten rid of the ref desk entirely, especially if your library is a large one and not some branch?
10:25 scilib I think what students and faculty want often times does not mesh with the budget!
10:25 scilib Or with the level of personnel able to staff
10:26 Mary Scanlon has anyone surveyed fac/students about this?
10:26 lcoats can't imagine that we'll be getting rid of desk anytime soon...
10:26 kwasi any evidence of faculty use of IM?
10:26 gilpearl1 good question mary-scanlon!
10:26 George not yet
10:26 danielle.theisswhite yes, we do
10:26 alesiamc We stopped using undergrads at the Science Library desk because of the referral problem.
10:26 Mary Scanlon no faculty using IM at WFU
10:26 StephenFrancoeur Replace desk with roving librarians only?
10:26 danielle.theisswhite we can track who asks questions through Libstats
10:26 JoynerRef2009 yes ive worked with faculty on IM
10:26 jasmacol We've had a few faculty using IM here.
10:26 brphilli me too
10:26 danielle.theisswhite but only if the patron self-identifies
10:26 danielle.theisswhite themselves
10:26 genstudieslibn we've had a few faculty on IM
10:26 alesiamc Undergrads for ref that is. We still have undergrads helping with tech/circ.
10:26 jam_asulib My impression is that faculty don't use IM, but I don't have facts to back that up.
10:26 danielle.theisswhite which often faculty like to do!
10:26 lcoats we do get a lot of directional and techie questions, but I think we are still married to the idea of f2f contact
10:26 bonnie Surveying students: Of course, there is the difference between what students say they will do and what they actually do.
10:26 jasmacol only a few self-identify, but I suspect there are others who are using it.
10:26 kingv is roving REALLY worth the time?
10:26 guest577402 We've had a number of faculty use our IM service
10:26 StephenFrancoeur jam_asulib: someone wrote about this at UIUC
10:27 danielle.theisswhite i think our page i***** (IM) hard because we have widgets everywhere
10:27 Mary Scanlon sounds like material for a research paper
10:27 danielle.theisswhite and also market it effectively all the time
10:27 George patrons identifying themselves on im is a problem for us too - faculty/student/outside library. faculty have only used im to report technical problems, not reference
10:27 lcoats isn't there work to do while roving? I'd love to rove...
10:27 samhines Faculty use our meebo chat all the time, but true IM is rare
10:27 jasmacol Kingv, I think it is in Commons types of environments, but probably not in less busy places.
10:27 JoynerRef2009 we find that faculty self identify quite well
10:27 gilpearl1 can some of you increase your font size--my old eyes are having trouble reading your tiny print!
10:27 leighmantle rovers - do you use tablets or how do you assist with reference questions?
10:27 StephenFrancoeur Orange County Library (public library in FL) using Vocera walky-talky things and roving. Wondering if it could work in academic library with no desk.
10:27 alesiamc My sense is that faculty contact their subject librarians directly.
10:28 jam_asulib gilpearl1, can you just increase your font view in your browser? that worked for me.
10:28 danielle.theisswhite Seattle Public Library also used Vocero
10:28 ckump We don't spend a lot of time roving. During our desk shift, we will get up every hour or half hour and go rove a bit. I find I get more questions than when I'm at the desk.
10:28 JoynerRef2009 only if we successfully trained faculty to come to their subject librarian directly
10:28 danielle.theisswhite but when we visited there this past April (ACRL)
10:28 lcoats alesamc -- only if the liaison program is working well!
10:28 scilib True, if there are subject librarians, and if they've made themselves known
10:28 gilpearl1 oh, right - ok
10:28 danielle.theisswhite they said they were stopping it
10:28 danielle.theisswhite because it wasn't working
10:28 danielle.theisswhite we use walkie talkies
10:28 samhines Danielle, wasn't working how?
10:28 alesiamc lcoats - yes the liaison program has to work well.
10:28 JoynerRef2009 hows that walkie talkie going?
10:29 kwasi Has anyone just changed their desk design or structure? Any feedback there?
10:29 lcoats what about doing collection development in the stacks while roving?
10:29 brphilli We're in the middle of changing the desk
10:29 danielle.theisswhite samhines- they demonstrated (Vocero) for us and it even had an error when we were given a demonstration...and do you know how much that COSTS!
10:29 brphilli Moved from 3 service points near each other (circ, info lab, reference)
10:29 ckump my roving questions usually come from someone at a computer but if they are in the stacks or somewhere else without a computer, I just ask them to come back to the desk.
10:29 danielle.theisswhite it's expensive@
10:29 kingv We added computer consulting to our desk--they seem much busier than we do!
10:29 brphilli To one with circ/lab & one end & ref at the other
10:29 Giz Womack kwasi, we actually lowered our desk so it was more accessible and less imposing
10:29 jasmacol JoynerRef2009 - the walkie talkies work pretty well as long as we remember to charge them.
10:29 Mary Scanlon about 2 years ago, we lowered the height of the ridge around the desk to make it more approachable
10:29 George vassar's liaison program has been growing effectively as well - ie students making appointments for 1on1 with subject specialist is increasing
10:29 StephenFrancoeur We're thinking of ripping out old ref desk (big 3-sided monster) and replacing with slimmed down desk that looks like Apple Genius Bar.
10:29 jengoria Is patron identification a problem for reporting stats? anyone care where questions are coming from if #s are up?
10:29 brphilli It's helping with referrals because we reference types can overhear the student staff
10:29 Susanb08540 we put signs up by the computers with the reference desk's phone number onit
10:29 sbk18 We've added a monitor and keyboard facing the patron so that students/faculty can do their own keyboarding and see the results w/out having to turn the one monitor around.
10:30 lcoats Mary, that's great! Wish we hadn't put in a HUGE desk when we renovated a few years back (before I was there)
10:30 bonnie StephenFrancoeur: some folks are looking at the Genius bar model of signing up for appointments as a model for reference.
10:30 wcclibrary I would be interested in finding out the locations of those libraries that have combined their service points - specifically ref & circ
10:30 danielle.theisswhite Question 3!!!!! How are people assessing their reference services? How do you determine what changes to make to your services?
10:30 scilib Genius bar?
10:30 ckump our ref desk is attached to the circ desk but not as high. students sit next to us while we help them so they can see the screen.
10:30 gilpearl1 me too wcclibrary, that's what's being proposed here
10:31 samhines wcclibrary, here at U of Montana we have a combined desk
10:31 StephenFrancoeur Bonnie: We've discussed that too as we launched our consultation service this past spring.
10:31 jonesphi We reduced the size of our desk, moved it to an adjacent computer work area near the reference collection. Students now sit or stand and ask questions. Our ref desk is the primary meeting point for consultations--this promotes the service.
10:31 TJLynch Our Director tells us LOL
10:31 Mary Scanlon we have a 2nd screen so patron can follow along, but usually we just have them sign on to a public computer and make them "drive"
10:31 Sparkle48 or AUL
10:31 danielle.theisswhite TJLynch, we're heard that often!
10:31 alesiamc Our ref desk is in our Info Commons. We do get referrals from our IT students who also work at the desk. Also, we can "overhear" reference questions directed to the IT students.
10:31 JoynerRef2009 Mary Scanlon: same here
10:31 bonnie Assessing reference - at a basic level, we are using libstats to track questions. We haven't done much more than look at numbers.
10:31 danielle.theisswhite Here at K-State we use Libstats to keep track of ALL of our encounters and then analyze them every semester
10:31 JoynerRef2009 we keep stats of IM, reference, directional, govdocs, distance ed, consultation, and technical questions
10:31 alesiamc We have dual monitors at both reference workstations.
10:31 samhines re assessment, we do stats twice a year but it's just numbers
10:32 Sparkle48 Love LibStats!
10:32 scilib What is LibStats exactly? Bought program or home grown?
10:32 mathphylib as for assessment - we use libstats for the desk, email, phone and use the libraryh3lp admin interface to work with VR stats
10:32 George vassar is using libstats to record where questions are reaching us - im/office email/ref desk and what types of questions, ref/ technical/directional etc. we have cut back on early semester saturdays and mornings based on these statistics
10:32 bonnie danielle.theisswhite - What kind of analysis are you doing?
10:32 liorah We just use tick marks! What's LibStats?
10:32 danielle.theisswhite I put everything into Excel and use pivot tables to pull out the information by hour, day, month, etc.
10:32 ckump our ref stats seem lower than most - what do you classify as a reference question?
10:32 Sparkle48 open source
10:32 brphilli We have plenty of stats, but I don't think that's quite the same as assessment
10:32 alesiamc Re stats: we use DeskTracker. Track all encounters.
10:32 samhines our vr stats are more robust, we do content analysis of those
10:32 ref_librarian mostly it using use-statistics
10:32 TJLynch Sometimes wonder if they have enough experience in Ref to make decisions for us...
10:32 StephenFrancoeur QuestionPoint chat offers automatic popup of survey. We get great feedback on our chat service from that.
10:32 Mary Scanlon we keep stats at the ref desk by format & just added length of session
10:32 danielle.theisswhite we actually had an increase in reference statistics this past year due to our marketing of IM
10:32 JoynerRef2009 any question that doesn't fit the other categories
10:32 gilpearl1 for the most part, who is deciding for your library how you modify ref? is it the director or the ref librarians?
10:32 jasmacol I'm intriqued by using the University of Rochester's approach to assessing student needs.
10:32 danielle.theisswhite Our IM is doubling every month
10:32 kingv we use tick marks, but will implement LibStats this fall
10:32 mathphylib danielle, do you keep track of IM in libstats too?
10:32 brphilli We use LibStats, just did WOREP
10:32 George libstats is freeware. we've been quite impressed with it. also allows you to run reports and include initials of librarian, you can edit it, include question and your answers
10:32 genstudieslibn we market pretty heavily
10:32 leighmantle danielle how did you market IM?
10:32 disedlibrarian we use dual monitors, and just put keyboards with them (2 monitors, 2 keyboards) so people can type their own searches in--but the computer will only allow one mouse
10:32 danielle.theisswhite Mathphylib: Yes, we do
10:33 ckump we discuss it in librarian meetings with our director.
10:33 danielle.theisswhite we copy/paste all the transcripts into libstats
10:33 lcoats ditto ckump
10:33 StephenFrancoeur We dropped complete statistics (tick marks for every question) with twice a year sampling.
10:33 Mary Scanlon we created a form in Google to track stats
10:33 danielle.theisswhite and are actually doing an IRB to analyze these over the next few weeks!
10:33 gilpearl1 but who's driving the idea of getting rid of the ref desk? Administrators or librarians?
10:33 Mary Scanlon danielle - really??? every month? how are you marketing your service?
10:33 jam_asulib We use DeskTracker, but it's just numerical counts with some different categories. No actual questions recorded.
10:33 scilib In the past, we did not have to do IRB with that kind of data
10:33 mathphylib what is the goal of analyzing IM transcripts or libstats data?
10:33 danielle.theisswhite We've provided information on libstats in the google group for those of you who would like more info
10:33 brphilli Administrators
10:33 samhines gilpearl1-here it's the director
10:33 brphilli Ref librarians love having time at the desk
10:33 liorah Stephen, I like that idea! The tick marks aren't that meaningful.
10:33 jasmacol Leighmantle: we market through post-it notes, MOO cards, cool icons on our website, extensive use of widgets. We also talk it up in instruction session.s
10:33 wcclibrary I think the admins are behind getting rid of the ref desk
10:34 bonnie I don't love my time at the ref desk
10:34 alesiamc We keep track of all stats to help make staffing/hours decisions but for institutional reporting we sample one week per semester.
10:34 bonnie I'm at the ref desk right now.
10:34 StephenFrancoeur gilpearl1: out baruch it's the administration, but many of us are supportive
10:34 ckump I love time at the desk but also have a lot of other things to do
10:34 kwasi What about tracking the off-desk work? We are using Zoho.
10:34 lcoats funny, while our library seems married to the desk, most of them (not me) hate desk time
10:34 ckump and I don't love getting tech questions etc.
10:34 bonnie I feel i'm more effective in a one-on-one consultation or in the classroom.
10:34 brphilli :<
10:34 gilpearl1 hi bonnie :-)
10:34 scilib Our ref librarians want the ref hours gone. They have better things to do than answer where is the? Type questions
10:34 guest577402 We keep stats in Zoho, & we also keep (informally) of email feedback (ieand chat sessions.
10:34 George the conversation about limiting/eliminating ref desk is more a conversation among ref librarisn here - not admin. AND i do not enjoy slow hours at reference desk. i would prefer to more effectively use my time in active outreach
10:34 wcclibrary I feel a presence is needed for the students even if they don't use our services
10:34 alesiamc As head of ref, so far, I've been able to make the decisions with my department.
10:34 Susanb08540 I ams till challenged by the desk work
10:34 kingv We're concerned that librarians not at the desk may feel they have "lost touch"--how do you avoid that?
10:35 Giz Womack Our IS service desk is moving to the Library in December. We hope this will reduce our tech questions
10:35 genstudieslibn but many "where is" type questions may hide another info need
10:35 lcoats I find that "where is the..." often turns right into a serious ref question
10:35 JoynerRef2009 personally, i love the time i spend fielding questions at the ref desk, currently no one is pushing to get rid of the desk
10:35 wcclibrary So often students will seek us out when they are stumped
10:35 brphilli Most of our staff want at least some desk time to help them see the users, present a welcoming and knowledgeable face
10:35 mathphylib Has anyone taken some action or made a change based on assessment of desk or IM services?
10:35 ckump we only have two official reference librarians and the others all take desk time but don't like it much. we only have 6 librarians here.
10:35 danielle.theisswhite mathphylib: i actually use the data to determine staffing levels, determine when to keep IM on the desk, determine staff training and cont. ed. topics. This is coming out soon--
10:35 samhines I very much enjoy desk time, feel it's a great way to reach those too shy to use my office hours/email/IM/phone
10:35 genstudieslibn I view desktime as "field work"
10:35 alesiamc My director/associate director may suggest we look into changes but we've been able to justify our choices as a department.
10:35 samhines or those who don't know they need my help
10:35 genstudieslibn I can see students in their natural habitat! :-)
10:35 JoynerRef2009 field work...excellent
10:36 jasmacol mathphylib: see
for a bit of info about using Libstats data.
10:36 jonesphi But is anyone using other ways to assess the effectiveness of reference service--virtual or in person?
10:36 George the challenging questions would not disappear without a reference desk - they would just reach you through a different format.
10:36 samhines lol genstudieslibn :-)
10:36 kwasi are people integrating reference into course management systems, e.g. Meebo?
10:36 scilib Agreed George
10:36 sbk18 The librarians generally come up with ideas for change, and then it goes to the director.
10:36 lcoats genstudieslib -- I agree! Field study!
10:36 ckump kwasi, we are looking into the possibility
10:36 StephenFrancoeur We changed chat ref hours after detailed analysis of traffic patterns. It's a cooperative service open 24/7, but we changed the hours we ourselves staff the service after we saw what times of the day our students were mostly likely to be asking questions.
10:36 brphilli I really feel we should offer a variety of ways to communicate, for a variety of communicators
10:36 mathphylib danille, cont. ed. to see if questions are being answered correctly or if there is a common question that everyone should know about?
10:36 wcclibrary most of the questions on meebo have to do with hours or where is something not real reference questions
10:37 genstudieslibn I also wonder if not having professionals or good paraprofessionals at a desk is a slippery slope
10:37 scilib When you have too few librarians and too many constituents to serve, slow desk time or time you must chain yourself to the building is a big deal
10:37 kingv agree, brphilli. Different people like to communicate in different ways
10:37 danielle.theisswhite mathphylib:
10:37 genstudieslibn if students get lousy assistance -- why come back?
10:37 danielle.theisswhite I do something called reference batting practice with my staff
10:37 kingv wcclibrary, we get lots of citation questions in our IM
10:37 alesiamc Here too our ref librarians have a preference for face-to-face desk time so they haven't pushed to get rid of desk hours. Our branches different story because of high volume of tech/circ questions vs. ref questions.
10:37 wcclibrary exactly genstudieslibn
10:37 jasmacol maythphylib: the article is on page 92 of that proceedings.
10:37 laurabonella kwasi: yes, we have a widget in our course management software
10:37 Sparkle48 We have excellent para-professionals evening and weekends
10:37 ckump I would like to see our ref desk separated from circ, to give a physical indication that there are different functions.
10:37 alesiamc Like "field work" concept :)
10:37 Mary Scanlon king, we do to
10:37 brphilli We refer "real" ref to campus wide IM evenings
10:37 lcoats ckump - yes, I would separate
10:38 StephenFrancoeur ckump: but why?
10:38 bonnie ckump - Interesting - we are looking at trying to combine.
10:38 gilpearl1 if you were a student now, would you care if the ref desk was gone?
10:38 wcclibrary quiet ckump you'll wreck my sabbatical! :P
10:38 brphilli or us the next day
10:38 George there would be a learning curve for patrons used to having a static presence at the desk, but thorugh effective outreach and use of technology i do think we can channel those patrons to contact us directly or be referred.
10:38 scilib WHile the field work concept is ok, I think it's denial of the fact that reference is dying
10:38 scilib at least reference in its former form
10:38 trasmi danielle - explain ref batting practice?
10:38 lcoats sclib - reference is dying? no one told me!
10:38 George ref librarians having time to address other projects instead of hours trapped at desk not being very busy is also a way of enhancing service - creating guides, meeting with classes, 1 on 1's etc.
10:38 danielle.theisswhite It appears that we are almost out of time, is there anything else anyone would like to discuss? We do have the Google Group:
where we can continue this discussion...
10:38 ckump sorry, don't mean to make waves . . . ;)
10:39 wcclibrary LOL
10:39 kingv I don't know what kind of Qs the Circ desk get to know if we should combine or not--that's why I'd love them to enter their Qs into LibStats so I can see!
10:39 StephenFrancoeur ckump: no worries but am wondering if you are serious or not.
10:39 scilib I'm on George's side with this one. he and I see eye to eye
10:39 alesiamc good discussion!
10:39 danielle.theisswhite kingv, you could specify a circ section of libstats so they could enter the transactions
10:39 ckump I do love getting the reference questions but it's difficult when I'm helping someone and I have to stop to reserve a study room for someone else because the circ staff member has gone off to help unjam the copier.
10:39 kingv I amend my statement--don't know ENOUGH about Qs at Circ desk...
10:39 George scilib - what school are you from?
10:40 kwasi how do libraries with 24/7 or 24/5 service deal with reference?
10:40 scilib Ohio state
10:40 StephenFrancoeur ckump: but what if that combined desk just had addl. staff then?
10:40 kingv danielle, it is one of the things that is selling me on LibStats! :)
10:40 ckump Stephen, you mean about separating the desk?
10:40 Mary Scanlon at WFU we have librarian at the desk until 9pm weekdays, students until 1am
10:40 danielle.theisswhite kingv, cool!
10:40 jasmacol kwasi, we would like to extend virtual reference to late hours, but haven't yet.
10:40 scilib but I am at a branch
10:40 mathphylib do we find this transcript at the google group?
10:40 Mary Scanlon IM is on as long as someone is at the desk
10:40 jasmacol Some libraries are rolling IM patrons over to consortial IM via Tutor.com etc...
10:40 danielle.theisswhite we've thought about doing JUST IM from 10-12 each night, but haven't tried it yet
10:41 ckump Stephen, additional staff would be great. Also costs too much. (sad)
10:41 Mary Scanlon that's when the students use it heavily
10:41 danielle.theisswhite mathphylib: we can post it there too
10:41 StephenFrancoeur ckump: yeah, separating the desk...seems like we shouldn't have to bend students to our institutional habits but rather focus on bending ourselves to meet their needs.
10:41 leighmantle IM with staff at home or staff in the building?
10:41 laurabonella The transcript will be on the ACRL page:
10:41 brphilli We have the advantage of a library school
10:41 jam_asulib We're 24/5; Circ. staff is trained in basics and rely on our LibGuides quite a bit. Then they refer.
10:41 brphilli Those students do late-night IM
10:41 alesiamc We are 24/5 but we don't have overnight ref hours. Looking into InfoQuest project for overnight VR.
10:41 Sparkle48 We have IM support until midnight
10:41 genstudieslibn we have IM until midnight as well
10:41 kingv jamacol, we do the roll-over to the 24 hr statewide service L-net when we go offline--our students use it a LOT it appears!
10:41 StephenFrancoeur 24/7 chat ref that we get via QuestionPoint is excellent. highly recommend it.
10:41 jam_asulib Unfortunately our Chat service stops at 4pm. :-(
10:42 jam_asulib I mean 5pm!
10:42 danielle.theisswhite our highest chat traffic is from 9-10pm Sunday, Monday, Tuesday night
10:42 ckump Stephen, I know what you're saying. And the truth is, we are such a small staff, we all have to help with circ. Our director checks out books, etc. when needed.
10:42 danielle.theisswhite and is increasing every semester
10:42 StephenFrancoeur QuestionPoint software, though, leaves a bit to be desired. Wish libraryh3lp had a 24/7 cooperative running.
10:42 alesiamc I train overnight/late night staff on "after hour reference". Getting patrons started and how to make referrals. Suggest patrons be asked to send their question via email ref which will get picked up right away when the ref desk opens.
10:42 jam_asulib We used to do Chat until 9pm and it was great. But budget cuts..sigh.
10:42 Mary Scanlon danielle, our peak times are similar to yours
10:42 jasmacol The results of survey question 1:
10:43 danielle.theisswhite mary scanlon, great!
10:43 StephenFrancoeur ckump: I can imagine that if we combined our desks, the resulting staffing level would be less than when we had two separate desks.
10:43 danielle.theisswhite Any other thoughts?
10:43 jasmacol results of survey question 2:
10:44 Mary Scanlon thanks for creating this forum. obviously, it's a popular topic
10:44 scilib There seems to be many questions left unaswered at this point, with regards to how alterante services are going to work in lieu of desk
10:44 danielle.theisswhite Mary, yes it is. Please join our group so we can share more together
10:44 StephenFrancoeur Code4Lib journal had article in volume 2 about using old DOS command to send out "we need help at the ref desk" messages to every staff computer. Anyone use some similar service or tool for when the desk gets swamped?
10:44 Mary Scanlon done
10:44 kingv would love to more about text reference
10:44 jasmacol results of survey question 3:
10:44 danielle.theisswhite sclib, yes, especially on how to do an effective ref. int. in a virtual env.
10:44 lcoats make the surveys so you don't actually have to ck. off an answer -- we don't do any of the sruvey 3 but I had to answer before it would tally
10:44 jam_asulib I hope lots of people join the google group; I have many more questions!
10:44 sbk18 Our students can use QuestionPoint - we're part of QandA NJ.org - 24/7.
10:44 Mary Scanlon kingv, we're just starting text ref
10:45 jasmacol lcoats, sorry about that! I should have given an n/a option.
10:45 lcoats sbk18 - where are you? I'm at Monmouth
10:45 danielle.theisswhite Stephen- cool article!
10:45 danielle.theisswhite Please post that to the ref. bib on the group
10:45 jonesphi Could you tell us a bit more about text reference, Mary?
10:45 laurabonella I totally want to do that!
10:45 George do people use their personal phones or a work phone? does staffing for text ref rotate if it's a staff phone?
10:45 George or do you text from the computer?
10:46 genstudieslibn I'm considering using my personal phone
10:46 kingv can text get sent to IM to make easier for librarian to answer both?
10:46 genstudieslibn I may live to regret it...
10:46 JoynerRef2009 personal phone for consultations, work phone more typical
10:46 Mary Scanlon we just got a number on Google voice which we'll use for txt
10:46 danielle.theisswhite Yes, with libraryh3lp, you can receive text messages through IM
10:46 lcoats genstudieslibn - for what?
10:46 JoynerRef2009 our text does get sent to an IM
10:46 genstudieslibn for SMS
10:46 colleenrobledo Yes, text can be sent and received via I/M.
10:46 JoynerRef2009 currently using Pidgin not libraryh3lp yet
10:46 danielle.theisswhite and it comes to the librarian through the IM service, but goes back to the patron as a text message
10:46 lcoats hmmmm
10:47 scilib that's cool danielle
10:47 kingv love that, danielle
10:47 danielle.theisswhite It's through the AIM IM Hack
10:47 Giz Womack they do like to text! it reaches them where they are!
10:47 danielle.theisswhite which ONLY works with Libraryh3lp, not Meebo anymore
10:47 colleenrobledo GoogleTalk does it too.
10:47 genstudieslibn cool!
10:47 danielle.theisswhite AIM blocks Meebo users from doing it
10:47 samhines good info!
10:47 ckump Some here say that IM is 'old' like email. Students don't use it so much and use text more. Thoughts?
10:47 scilib What does GOogle talk also do?
10:47 leighmantle MHC likes that too!
10:47 kingv all the more reason to drop meebo for something like libraryl3lp, then, eh! :)
10:48 colleenrobledo Dont' rule out Twitter, supports just as many characters as text does.
10:48 JoynerRef2009 our IM and text are both wildly popular
10:48 Giz Womack ckump, that's what we hear too
10:48 Mary Scanlon ckump - I hear the same. the only chat they use in via Facebook chat
10:48 Mary Scanlon otherwise, it's all txt
10:48 colleenrobledo GoogleTalk can also send/received texts via I/M.
10:48 sbk18 lcoates - I'm at Ramapo. Did we meet last month?:)
10:48 scilib But how do you use Twitter privately?
10:48 Sparkle48 danielle - libraryh3lp - costly?
10:48 Giz Womack scilib direct messages in Twitter
10:48 leighmantle you can send a direct twitter message to someone
10:48 laurabonella Our text service is not very popular, but we haven't marketed it too much
10:48 George it's "old" but so are we? i mean students expect to communicate with adults - profs/libs through email/im..not through social places like facebook/twitter
10:48 danielle.theisswhite sparkle48--libraryh3lp is very cheap
10:48 scilib Is that like chat in Facebook?
10:48 laurabonella KU libraries does the same thing, and theirs is very popular
10:48 colleenrobledo We're just starting to explore a public Twitter channel. Haven't officially rolled it out to the reference staff yet.
10:48 lcoats sbk18 - in AC?
10:49 Mary Scanlon anyone using Twitter for ref?
10:49 Joni S Has anyone tried Google Voice?
10:49 danielle.theisswhite it was created by Pam Sessoms and Eric Sessoms from UNC and they do it by FTE...our cost is SOOOO Cheap
10:49 colleenrobledo Use a tool like CoTweet to manage multipe librarians on the library Twitter account, and you can even refer/forward Tweets to a particular specialist to answer.
10:49 Giz Womack Joni S we have just established our Google Voice account
10:49 ckump I have actually had to help students with email when they are required to send something to a prof. strange. Apparently they 'email' through facebook now.
10:49 Sparkle48 thxs for the info
10:49 danielle.theisswhite Sparkle48-- you are welcome
10:49 alesiamc I'm administering our Twitter account and I've answered a couple of ref questions so far. Is not a formal service. I consider the ability to answer questions this way as a "bonus".
10:49 Mary Scanlon thx Coleen
10:50 Joni S Giz, I just signed up too. I don't work in a library yet, but I can see its potential..maybe
10:50 ckump they need to learn email-the will have to use it in the work world.
10:50 jasmacol Sparkle, see:
10:50 colleenrobledo I agree, it's a "bonus" too. I like to explore and use whatever platforms out patrons feel comfortable using.
10:50 lcoats ckump -- will they?
10:50 jasmacol that shows the libraryh3lp costs.
10:50 Giz Womack @lcoats, it will be google wave by then instead of email
10:50 ckump I think email will still be used in business for a while. I guess it depends on their profession.
10:50 genstudieslibn Google Wave is supposed to make all of these obsolete!
10:50 danielle.theisswhite Other topics we should cover?
10:51 ckump Ok, I am old - what is Google Wave?
10:51 danielle.theisswhite ckump! i didn't know either!
10:51 genstudieslibn Don't worry -- it isn't out yet
10:51 stephenfrancoeur Google Wave will be amazing.
10:51 danielle.theisswhite Tell us more!
10:51 stephenfrancoeur Hard to explain...
10:51 jasmacol http://wave.google.com/
10:51 Giz Womack a communication tool that integrates google tools into a common interface
10:51 lcoats sounds fun!
10:51 laurabonella Once again, please join our group to continue the discussion!
10:51 ckump thanks genstudieslibn, i feel better :)
10:51 Mary Scanlon it's Gtalk, Gmail and Google docs all in one
10:51 bonnie I came in late, have folks already discussed how their consultation services work? Or if they have them.
10:51 Giz Womack it could be a game changer
10:52 danielle.theisswhite Sounds really cool
10:52 ckump I do love Google Docs
10:52 Joni S Oh, I forgot about Google Wave. When does that come out?
10:52 stephenfrancoeur you can have IM like conversations, drag other people in, and then make that conversation an embedded window on some web page, where in turn new people can comment and interact with it.
10:52 laurabonella And look for the transcripts here:
10:52 stephenfrancoeur September
10:52 danielle.theisswhite We use Google Docs for our desk schedule
10:52 danielle.theisswhite jason will send a screenshot
10:52 danielle.theisswhite so you can see
10:52 stephenfrancoeur So you can have a librarian publicly answer a question in Google Wave, then make it private or keep it public so others can return to it, add to it., etc.
10:52 JoynerRef2009 our desk schedule is done thru wetpaint wiki
10:52 Joni S Google Docs is great. Calendar too
10:52 danielle.theisswhite that way "I" don't have to make all the desk changes
10:53 danielle.theisswhite also we use a blog for shift coverage changes
10:53 Sparkle48 Wave does sound like it has a library future
10:53 Mary Scanlon we use Google docs all the time - committee meeting agenda & minuts
10:53 danielle.theisswhite http://ksulib.typepad.com/trades/
10:53 jasmacol Our desk schedule is through Google Docs. Here is our template for the Fall:
10:53 sbk18 Sorry, I have to logoff for a meeting. This was a great discussion - thanks! Susan at Ramapo
10:54 stephenfrancoeur I gotta run, too...to the reference desk, where else!
10:54 Mary Scanlon h aha
10:54 stephenfrancoeur thanks all for the great convo!
10:54 laurabonella Yes, our time is "officially" up, so feel free to log off... or stay and chat :)
10:54 wcclibrary Me too....of all places - the reference desk!
10:54 kingv This has been great--got lots of terrific ideas! Thanks!
10:54 George thank you K State for hosting this discussion - a timely topic!
10:54 genstudieslibn thanks!!
10:54 danielle.theisswhite Sure, we enjoyed it too!
10:54 leighmantle many thanks from Mount Holyoke - great discussion!
10:54 margotconahan Thanks for joining us and thanks to our moderators!
10:54 danielle.theisswhite any final thoughts?
10:54 ckump tell me more about the google group, i've never joined one
10:54 alesiamc Thank you. Enjoyed the discussion :)
10:55 Sparkle48 yes, K-state - also thank your for libstats session at ACRL in Seattle
10:55 laurabonella One more time - group
10:55 jasmacol Thank you everyone!
10:55 danielle.theisswhite ckump: you can view the google group we sent, but also join it and receive email updates
10:55 lcoats After I got the hang of it, I had fun -- maybe this is the lesson I was to learn today?? :)
10:55 scilib New tools sound cool, but are they really relevant? Only time will tell I guess
10:55 laurabonella transcripts -
10:55 ckump Ok. I do have a google account.
10:55 kwasi We had so much fun-- Mike, Kwasi, Sally and Ed from Boston College
10:55 wcclibrary Thank you but now I have whiplash from trying to keep up with the discussions!
10:55 danielle.theisswhite ckump: great! you'll receive any updates to pages, discussion groups, etc.
10:55 danielle.theisswhite wcclibrary-- me too!
10:55 jam_asulib Many thanks to the mods!
10:55 danielle.theisswhite :)
10:56 laurabonella You're welcome!
10:56 wcclibrary LOL
10:56 jasmacol sclib, I agree. the key is to use tools patrons really like to use.
10:56 ckump Thanks! This has been a very interesting discussion!
10:56 JoynerRef2009 students seem to be into this anonymous question asking
10:56 samhines thanks all!
10:56 JoynerRef2009 text and IM are good for that
10:56 lcoats jasmacol - agreed. even if they are new an may not be around forever!
10:56 Sparkle48 Have a gentle remainder of the day!
10:56 danielle.theisswhite There is a reference bibliography and a handout on the google group for everyone. please add to the citations there!
10:57 Giz Womack thanks! this was interesting, both in content and format
10:57 danielle.theisswhite Giz Womack...thankx we were worried about if it would be mass chaos!
10:58 danielle.theisswhite but i think people got something out of it
10:58 jasmacol I see massive migration to reference via mobile devices in the coming years...
10:58 danielle.theisswhite yes, me too
10:58 Giz Womack i agree
10:58 lcoats Well, it sort of was, but like I said, it's important to try new things! :'D
10:58 danielle.theisswhite lcoats! I agree, but it was fun
10:59 lcoats couldn't have gotten 80 academic librarians to discuss this in person much better!
10:59 jasmacol having the transcript makes the chaos more fun :)
10:59 danielle.theisswhite lcoats: i agree... and such a timely topci
10:59 danielle.theisswhite topic
10:59 lorene can you repaet the url for the google group
11:00 lorene thanks from a lurker
11:00 danielle.theisswhite lorene, sure!
11:02 guest294041 I am new to this. Where can I find the full transcript of this session?
11:03 danielle.theisswhite The transcript will be on the ACRL page:
11:04 danielle.theisswhite Moderators are signing off!
11:05 JoynerRef2009 thanks again guys!
11:05 danielle.theisswhite Thanks and have a great day and please continue the discussion here: