Snapshot: University of Idaho Library Reference Department


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Snapshot: University of Idaho Library Reference Department

  1. 1. Kristin Henrich, Reference CoordinatorUniversity of Idaho Library208.885.6584libref@uidaho.eduReference Department
  2. 2. How Patrons Reach Us In person Phone Email Chat Text LibGuides
  3. 3. Who Uses Our Services? 84% students 6% faculty/staff 5% community 6%unknown/otherImage from
  4. 4. What Kinds of Questions Do We Answer? 80% Reference Questions Research-based; questions such as “How can Ifind articles about…” or “Where can I findinformation about…”. Some examples follow! 20% Directional Questions Location-based; questions such as “Where’s thebathroom?” or “Where can I find these callnumbers?”.
  5. 5.  I need information about zebra chips! Academic Search Premier Science Direct Plant Management Network CAB Direct WCL: Insect Pests of PotatoImage from
  6. 6.  My favorite author stopped writing. Ideas for similarbooks? Novelist Public Library Edition
  7. 7.  Help! I need primary sources on Teddy Rooseveltand the Antiquities Act. The American West American Memory NYPL Digital Gallery PacNW Historical Newspapers WCL and SummitImage from
  8. 8.  I found these books on my topic, but how do Iknow if they’re any good?•Relevance to your topic:table of contents, index•Credibility: authorcredentials, publisherreputation•Accessibility: intendedaudience, assumed priorknowledgeImage from
  9. 9.  My paper is on declining fertility rates in America,how this is changing our demographic structure,and how this change in demography hasaffected/caused our recent economic andfinancial hardships. Search terms: [econometrics and fertility] ABI/Inform Business Source Premier Journal of Population Economics
  10. 10. Among Many Others… I’m supposed to find a phrase in a poem that “movesme”? Info on Chinese gender stereotypes in American lit? Books on Lincoln conspiracy theories? Any good books on kitties? Building damage due to tsunamis produced byearthquakes? ACT prep books?
  11. 11. How Do We Keep Track ofEverything? LibAnswers Serves as a “knowledge base” Runs a public interface and a librarian interface Patrons can use it to send questions to us via chator text Librarians can answer chat and text questions, andalso keep track of questions asked through otherformats
  12. 12. Patron Side Chat Feature
  13. 13. Patron Side Text FeatureImage from 449-0841
  14. 14. Librarian DashboardPending TextsClick here toadd referenceinteractions
  15. 15. Librarian IM ViewQueuesbeingmonitoredPatrons interacting withchatActive chatwindowOption to export directlyto statistics
  16. 16. Reference Statistics
  17. 17. Future Uses Other departments can use LibAnswers Other departments can use chat Ability to transfer questions between departments LibAnswers contains space to create a“knowledge base” of commonly asked questionsthat students can search independently
  18. 18. Image from