PAJAMA REFERENCEProviding Virtual Reference To StudentsKathryn Klages, T&L Librarian, Seneca CollegeOALT/ABO 39th Annual C...
A conversation with the goal ofascertaining the user’s information needs and taking appropriate action to satisfy   those ...
1. Approachability       2. Interest       3. Listening/ Inquiring       4. Searching       5. Follow-upRUSA’s Guidelines ...
How do you begin your conversation?• Build trust and rapport.• Let the user know that you are interested in  the question....
Things to do at the beginning…• Introduce yourself and welcome the visitor.• If you are balancing multiple  visitors, comm...
Are you engaged in the conversation?• Eliminate distractions and focus on the visitor.• Maintain word contact.• Signal und...
Negotiate the QuestionFolks don’t always express (or understand) theirneeds clearly.Uncover their unexpressed needs throug...
Attentive Listening…• Let them finish their thought.• Encourage them to explain fully.• Assume that their question is legi...
Open Ended Questions…encourage visitors to expand and presentadditional information.• “Please tell me more about your topi...
Closed Ended Questions…help refine the search query.• “What type of resource do you need?”• “How many sources are required...
Contextual Questions…provide the situation surrounding the question.• “Are you doing this research for an assignment?”• “W...
Process:• Determine visitor’s starting point.• Construct a search strategy and explain it.• Broaden or narrow the topic as...
Process:• Determine visitor’s starting point.• Construct a search strategy and explain it.• Broaden or narrow the topic as...
Process:• Determine visitor’s starting point.The goal is that the visitor learn from the• Construct a search strategy and ...
Don’t let the door hit you…• Have all parts of the question been addressed?• Does the visitor have additional questions to...
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Virtual Reference Best Practices

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Transcript of "Virtual Reference Best Practices"

  1. 1. PAJAMA REFERENCEProviding Virtual Reference To StudentsKathryn Klages, T&L Librarian, Seneca CollegeOALT/ABO 39th Annual ConferenceMay 3rd, 2012, 8:45 – 10:15am
  2. 2. A conversation with the goal ofascertaining the user’s information needs and taking appropriate action to satisfy those needs through skillful use of available sources. The Reference Interview
  3. 3. 1. Approachability 2. Interest 3. Listening/ Inquiring 4. Searching 5. Follow-upRUSA’s Guidelines for Behavioral Performance of Reference andInformation Service Providers are the most widely recommendedstandard of service. Guiding Principles
  4. 4. How do you begin your conversation?• Build trust and rapport.• Let the user know that you are interested in the question.• Establish a tone for the conversation and read the users tone.• Observe the visitor’s chat style. 1. Approachability
  5. 5. Things to do at the beginning…• Introduce yourself and welcome the visitor.• If you are balancing multiple visitors, communicate that to them.• If you have someone "on hold", check back periodically.
  6. 6. Are you engaged in the conversation?• Eliminate distractions and focus on the visitor.• Maintain word contact.• Signal understanding.• Ask for clarification.• Check back to get feedback on your suggestions. 2. Interest
  7. 7. Negotiate the QuestionFolks don’t always express (or understand) theirneeds clearly.Uncover their unexpressed needs through attentivelistening and clarifying questions. 3. Listening / Inquiring
  8. 8. Attentive Listening…• Let them finish their thought.• Encourage them to explain fully.• Assume that their question is legitimate.• Rephrase to confirm understanding.• Don’t jump to conclusions.• Engage in dialogue to clarify the context. 3. Listening
  9. 9. Open Ended Questions…encourage visitors to expand and presentadditional information.• “Please tell me more about your topic.”• “What additional information can you give me?”• “What research have you done so far?” 3. Inquiring
  10. 10. Closed Ended Questions…help refine the search query.• “What type of resource do you need?”• “How many sources are required?”• “Do you need current or historical information?” 3. Inquiring
  11. 11. Contextual Questions…provide the situation surrounding the question.• “Are you doing this research for an assignment?”• “What course is this assignment for?”• “ Are you in the library or working from home?” 3. Inquiring
  12. 12. Process:• Determine visitor’s starting point.• Construct a search strategy and explain it.• Broaden or narrow the topic as needed.• Solicit feedback.• Utilize teachable moments.• Make an informed referral when necessary. 4. Searching
  13. 13. Process:• Determine visitor’s starting point.• Construct a search strategy and explain it.• Broaden or narrow the topic as needed.Why did you use those words?• Solicit feedback.How did you put them together?• Utilize teachable moments.Why did you choose certain sources over others?• Make an informed referral when necessary.How did you navigate the source?
  14. 14. Process:• Determine visitor’s starting point.The goal is that the visitor learn from the• Construct a search strategy and explain it.interaction and be able to conduct a similar• Broaden or narrow the topic as needed.search independently in future.• Solicit feedback.• Utilize teachable moments.• Make an informed referral when necessary.Guide them to the appropriate source and helpthem conduct the search. They learn fromreaching, not receiving, the answer.
  15. 15. Don’t let the door hit you…• Have all parts of the question been addressed?• Does the visitor have additional questions to ask?• Does the visitor understand the recommendations?• If necessary, does the visitor know how to get more information?• Have you invited the visitor back? 5. Follow Up
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