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Discussion at ALA MW 2011 re a national virtual reference service for the U.S.

Discussion at ALA MW 2011 re a national virtual reference service for the U.S.

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    National VR discussion National VR discussion Presentation Transcript

    • A National Virtual Reference Service for the U.S.? Discussion, ALA Midwinter 2011#nationalvr
      Susan McGlamery
      QuestionPoint product manager
      mcglames@oclc.org
    • Raising the visibility of Reference
      Make the library the first choice for high-quality reference service
      Reach new users
      Serve users where they are, when they need help: Point of Need
      Expand reference availability
      Increase library’s visibility and web presence
    • How do people find information?
    • Where Search For Top Topic Begins
      In general, most go to a search engine when searching for the topic they search for most frequently on the Internet.
      © Harris Interactive
      4
      a
      b
      Q1710 Where do you typically begin your online search for information related to… ?
      Base: Qualified Respondents: Total (n=2743), Primary Library University (n=311), Primary Library Public (n=1377)
    • 2009 Library Services Study
      Harris Interactive’ survey: October 28 to November 12, 2009
      2,743 qualified respondents.
      Reside in the United States or Canada;
      Age 15+; and
      Does not personally work nor does anyone in the immediate family work in the library industry
      weighted demographically to represent the online general population of US/Canada
      © Harris Interactive
      5
    • Ever Started a Search Using a Search Engine and Ended up at a Library Web site
      Approximately one in five have started a search using a search engine and ended up at a library Web site.
      © Harris Interactive
      6
      Total
      Primary Library – University(a)
      Primary Library – Public
      (b)
      b
      a
      No
      Yes
      Q1830 Have you ever started a search using a search engine and ended up at a library Web site?
      Base: Qualified Respondents: Total (n=2743), Primary Library University (n=311), Primary Library Public (n=1377)
    • Likelihood of Using Services Offered by Local/Campus Library
      Nearly four in ten are very/somewhat likely to use event/community calendars and research assistance if these services were offered by their library.
      © Harris Interactive
      7
      Q1925 If your local or campus library offered the following services, what is your likelihood of using each through your library?
      Base: Qualified Respondents
    • Consumers and Question & Answer Sites
      Among those who use Q&A sites (982 of the 2,743 or 36% surveyed) , searching for an answer to a question is the most common activity.
      © Harris Interactive
      8
      Q1200 What do you typically do while logged into question & answer sites?
      Base: Use question & answer sites: Total (n=982), Primary Library University (n=77), Primary Library Public (n=532)
    • Online Library Information/Resources Valuable to Access From Sites (cont’d)
      Thirty-one percent of primary public library users find it valuable to access online reference materials from question & answer sites – this is significantly higher than that of primary university library users (21%).
      © Harris Interactive
      9
      Q1945 What types of online library information/resources would be valuable to be able to access from each of the following sites, even if you don’t personally use the site(s)?
      Base: Qualified Respondents
    • Usage of Online Information Sources
      Question & Answer sites are used by nearly one-half of those who use their mobile phone to access online information sources.
      © Harris Interactive
      10
      Q1730 How often do you engage in the following activities using your mobile phone?
      Base: Use mobile phone to access online information sources
    • How Question & Answer Sites are Accessed
      Nine in ten use Q&A sites for free.
      © Harris Interactive
      11
      b
      Q1210 How do you access question & answer sites?
      Base: Use question & answer sites: Total (n=1281), Primary Library University (n=96), Primary Library Public (n=701)
    • Reasons For Using Question & Answer Sites Instead of a Library
      One-half of those who use a fee-based service to access Q&A sites use them instead of a library because they get answers quicker.
      © Harris Interactive
      12
      Q1260 Why do you decide to use question & answer sites instead of using a library?
      Base: Use a fee-based service to access question & answer sites: Total (n=75), Primary Library University (n=6), Primary Library Public (n=34)
      Note: Small sample size(s)
    • Yahoo!Answers UK knowledge partner
    • Why a national service?
      Easier to promote
      Embed in partner sites
      Subject expert referral networks
      Save costs
      Do national services work?
    • Statewide services
    • Enquire: UK public libraries
      2004 – present (successor to email service)
      Steady increase in statistics due to emphasis on local services chat
      Nationwide service but only slightly over half (80 authorities) contribute funding and staffing
    • National services in the U.S.
      CDRS [now QuestionPoint Global Reference Network]
      Internet Public Library
      24/7 Reference Cooperative
      My Info Quest
      Digital Public Library of America
      strategies for improving public access to comprehensive online resources
    • AskNow (AU): 2002 - 2010
      Decline in usage (58% from 2004 to 2010)
      Disproportionately used for “homework help”
      Staffing is too resource intensive
    • Models
      A. Promote “Ask” [like “Read”]
      Intelligent re-direct to existing services based on IP, geolocation, etc
      Plug-in; apps (google scholar)
      C. Triage:
      National “Ask” handles “easier” questions
      Referral to local or subject experts for more complex
      D. Allow/encourage end-user participation
      E. Other
    • A: “Ask” campaign
      What organization will take this on?
      What is being promoted?
      E.g., Got questions? Ask at your library!
    • B. Re-direct
      What method to use?
      What if anything should be asked of user before re-direct: zip code? State?
      What if there is no virtual reference service at the user’s local library?
      WorldCat “Find in a library” concept?
      Platform issues?
    • C. Triage
      • Collaborative answering of “simple” questions, referral to subject/local expert for harder questions
      • Who/which group does initial sorting?
      • Quality Review
      • policies and procedures
      • Follow through on questions
      • Session Review
      • Reference training
      • Reports/statistics: how to get buy-in
      • Platform issues?
    • D. End User Participation
      Popularity of consumer Q&A sites
      Collaborative benefits
      More sustainable?
      Librarian expertise: valued by users?
    • Continue the conversation!#nationalvr
      mcglames@oclc.org