Merging Traffic: A Combined Reference and Access Services Desk
Merging Traffic: Planning for and implementing a combined reference and access services desk<br />Tom Burns, Research & Instruction Librarian, UMKC<br />email@example.com<br />Melanie Church, Graduate Student Assistant, UMKC<br />firstname.lastname@example.org<br />Fu Zhuo, Research & Instruction Librarian, UMKC<br />email@example.com<br />May 21, 2011<br />
Merging Traffic: Planning for and implementing a combined reference and access services desk<br />
Introduction and Literature Review<br />UMKC Library renovation<br />Declining reference statistics (Carlson 25-30)<br />One point of service in libraries (Fitzpatrick 231-38)<br />Reference desk staffing already changed from 2 to 1<br />Merging two desks in academic libraries (Massey-Burzio 276-86, Flanagan 329-38, Meldrem 305-11)<br />
Reference - Statistics<br />Survey Monkey is used to monitor reference transactions. In 2010, there were 10,846 total questions, including non-reference questions. In 2011, there have been 3,134 total questions to date.<br />In 2010, 49% of the questions answered by Reference were reference questions.<br />In 2011, 56% of the questions answered by Reference were reference questions.<br />In 2010, Access Services answered 2.6% of the reference questions.<br />In 2011, Access Services answered 10.7% of the reference questions.<br />
Planning Process<br />Began in December 2009 with a planning committee and a “Final” version was approved January 2011<br />Document categories<br />Quick Reference Questions<br />“On call” Referral <br />Telephone, Text-a-Librarian, & Email Questions<br />Technical Assistance <br />Evening & Weekend Service<br />Cross training<br />Librarians<br />Staff<br />
Who is more responsible for more complex technical questions?
When should Access Service staff call for help when the scheduled reference staff is away to help a patron?
Will RIS librarians and Access Services staff have two jobs?
Will the increased responsibilities jeopardize both librarians and Access Services staff job security?</li></li></ul><li>Summary<br />The transition has been mostly smooth<br />The new combined desk has provided opportunities for both librarians and staff to learn the automation system and serve their patrons better<br />Technical problems are solved mainly by Access Services staff, so that librarians can focus more on research questions or consultations<br />Librarians can do more outreach and marketing to engage faculty and students<br />The move has brought reference team and Access Service team closer, literally and figuratively<br />
Works Cited and Consulted<br />Bugg, Kimberley L., and Rosaline Y. Odom. "Extreme Makeover Reference Edition: Restructuring Reference Services at the Robert W. Woodruff Library, Atlanta University Center." Reference Librarian 50.2 (2009): 193-204. Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts. EBSCO. Web. 4 May 2011.<br />Carlson, Scott. “Are Reference Desks Dying Out? Librarians Struggle to Redefine—and in Some Cases Eliminate—the Venerable Institution.” The Reference Librarian 48.2 (2008): 25-30. Web. 4 May 2011. <br />Fitzpatrick, Elizabeth B., Anne C. Moore, and Beth W. Lang. "Reference Librarians at the Reference Desk in a Learning Commons: A Mixed Methods Evaluation." The Journal of Academic Librarianship 34.3 (2008): 231-38. Education Full Text. Web. 12 May 2011.<br />Flanagan, Pat and Lisa Horowitz. “Exploring New Service Models: Can Consolidating Public Service Points Improve Response to Customer Needs.” Journal of Academic Librarianship 26.5 (2000): 329-38. Web. 11 May 2011.<br />Lubker, Irene, Margaret Henderson, Catherine Canevari, and Barbara Wright. "Refocusing Reference Services Outside the Library Building: One Library's Experience." Medical Reference Services Quarterly 29.3 (2010): 218-228. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 4 May 2011.<br />Massey-Burzio, Virginia. “Reference Encounters of a Different Kind: A Symposium.” Journal of Academic Librarianship 18.5 (1992): 276-80. Web. 12 May 2011.<br />Meldrem, Joyce, Lori Mardis, and Carolyn Johnson. “Redesign Your Reference Desk: Get Rid of It!” ACRL Twelfth National Conference. Association of College & Research Libraries. Minneapolis, MN. 7 Apr. 2005. Web. 11 May 2011.<br />Ryan, Susan M. “Reference Transactions Analysis: The Cost-Effectiveness of Staffing a Traditional Academic Reference Desk.” Journal of Academic Librarianship 34.5 (2008): 389-399. Web. 4 May 2011.<br />
Thanks!<br />Special thanks to Cindy Thompson and Diane Hunter for their contributions to this project.<br />