The Invisible Reference Desk

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  • real-time reference even though is not in person

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  • local content

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  • customization

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  • Bookmarks: GA Tech Real Time Reference: http://www.library.gatech.edu/research_help/ask.html Webliography: www.ipl.org, www.lkwdpl.org/readref.htm Pathfinder: www.jsu.edu/depart/library/graphic/amhypath.htm Ask A Service: www.rcpl.lib.ca.us/emailref.htm I&R: www.cumberland.lib.nc.us www.vrtoolkit.net www.247ref.org www.questionpoint.org www.solinet.net/workshops/qp/qpchat.htm and www.solinet.net/workshops/qp/qpques.htm www.vrd.org *Check for AOL Instant Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, etc. Intros Needs Assessment: Distribute index cards. Have students record one thing they’d like to discuss. Packets Review Objectives Review Agenda and Housekeeping
  • The Invisible Reference Desk

    1. 1. The Invisible Reference Desk: Virtual Library Service May 26, 2009
    2. 2. What is virtual reference service? <ul><li>“The delivery of personalized reference resources to users outside the physical library.” </li></ul><ul><li>Source: Breeding, Marshall, “Providing Virtual Reference Service”, Information Today , Vol. 18, Issue 4, April, 2001. </li></ul>
    3. 3. Why should my library offer virtual reference? <ul><li>To help achieve your library’s mission </li></ul><ul><li>To reverse declines in face-to-face requests for reference assistance </li></ul><ul><li>To maintain the library’s patron base </li></ul><ul><li>To reach a larger segment of the user community </li></ul><ul><li>To provide resources regardless of time and location </li></ul>
    4. 4. What else can we do with virtual reference? <ul><li>Online Office Hours </li></ul><ul><li>Online Library Instruction </li></ul><ul><li>Online Programming </li></ul><ul><li>Interviews with local authors, faculty members, etc. </li></ul>
    5. 5. Virtual Reference Formats <ul><li>Webliographies </li></ul><ul><li>Pathfinders </li></ul><ul><li>Ask A Services: Email and chat </li></ul><ul><li>Frequently Asked Questions </li></ul><ul><li>Information and referral </li></ul>
    6. 6. Webliography: Internet Public Library <http://www.ipl.org>
    7. 7. Ask A Service: Rancho Cucamonga Public Library <http://www.rcpl.lib.ca.us/emailref.htm>
    8. 8. Getting Started <ul><li>Technical Requirements: </li></ul><ul><li>Internet access </li></ul><ul><li>Web browser </li></ul><ul><li>Email program </li></ul><ul><li>Web server </li></ul><ul><li>Optional software </li></ul>
    9. 9. Instant Messaging <ul><li>“ A type of communications service that enables you to create a private chat room with another individual. Typically, the instant messaging system alerts you whenever somebody on your private list is online. You can then initiate a chat session with that particular individual.” </li></ul><ul><li>Source: Webopedia, <http://www.webopedia.com> </li></ul>
    10. 10. Some IM Services <ul><li>AOL Instant Messenger, www.aim.com </li></ul><ul><li>Yahoo! Messenger, messenger.yahoo.com </li></ul><ul><li>ICQ, web.icq.com </li></ul><ul><li>MSN Messenger, messenger.msn.com </li></ul><ul><li>All are free! </li></ul>
    11. 11. AOL Instant Messenger
    12. 12. AOL Instant Messenger
    13. 13. AOL Instant Messenger
    14. 14. Contact Center Software <ul><li>“ Web contact center software was designed expressly for answering questions and providing live, interactive customer service on very high-traffic ecommerce sites . . . The software is based on the call center model, so it queues and routes Web calls to the next available agent (or librarian).” </li></ul><ul><li>Source: Coffman, Steve, “Distance Education and Virtual Reference…”, Computers in Libraries , vol. 21, no. 4. </li></ul>
    15. 15. Virtual Reference Product Features <ul><li>Chat capability </li></ul><ul><li>Pushing Web pages </li></ul><ul><li>Co-browsing/Two-way browsing </li></ul><ul><li>Statistical reports </li></ul><ul><li>Creation of scripts </li></ul>
    16. 16. Virtual Reference Product Features <ul><li>Automatic generation of transcripts </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge base creation </li></ul><ul><li>Display slideshows and presentations </li></ul><ul><li>Send screen captures </li></ul><ul><li>Question referral </li></ul>
    17. 17. <ul><li>Designed for use in libraries </li></ul><ul><li>Popular among academic libraries and regional consortia </li></ul><ul><li>Cost per year for one seat: $6000 </li></ul><ul><li>One-time installation and training fee: $9000 </li></ul>Virtual Reference ToolKit by LSSI <http://www.vrtoolkit.net>
    18. 18. <ul><li>Chat </li></ul><ul><li>Co-browsing </li></ul><ul><li>Scripted responses </li></ul><ul><li>Page pushing </li></ul><ul><li>File pushing </li></ul>Virtual Reference ToolKit: Features
    19. 19. <ul><li>Form sharing </li></ul><ul><li>Transcripts for users and librarians </li></ul><ul><li>Call transfer to other sites and librarians </li></ul><ul><li>Visual or audio alert for entering patrons </li></ul><ul><li>Spell check </li></ul>Virtual Reference ToolKit: Features
    20. 21. <ul><li>Started by the Metropolitan Cooperative Library System (greater Los Angeles) </li></ul><ul><li>Launched in January 2000 </li></ul><ul><li>Standard product: Staffed by your library only </li></ul><ul><li>Cooperative product: Staffed during the hours your staff isn’t available </li></ul>24/7 Reference <http://www.247ref.org>
    21. 22. <ul><li>Costs </li></ul><ul><li>One-time set-up fee: $4000 per seat </li></ul><ul><li>Ongoing fees: $300 per month, per seat </li></ul><ul><li>One-time training fee: $1000 + travel </li></ul><ul><ul><li>One day onsite and Web-based </li></ul></ul>24/7 Reference
    22. 23. <ul><li>Chat </li></ul><ul><li>Co-browsing </li></ul><ul><li>Scripted responses </li></ul><ul><li>Page pushing </li></ul><ul><li>File pushing </li></ul><ul><li>Form sharing </li></ul>24/7 Reference: Features
    23. 24. <ul><li>Transcripts for users and librarians </li></ul><ul><li>Visual or audio alert for entering users </li></ul><ul><li>Call transfer to other librarians </li></ul><ul><li>Reports and statistics </li></ul><ul><li>Two-month trial available </li></ul>24/7 Reference: Features
    24. 25. QuestionPoint <ul><li>Co-branded service from OCLC and the Library of Congress </li></ul><ul><li>Global solution: access to a worldwide network of libraries and a global knowledge base </li></ul><ul><li>Local solution: services for local patrons and access to the worldwide network </li></ul>
    25. 26. QuestionPoint: Costs $4800 $2400 $2000 Non- contributing $4000 $2000 $1700 Contributing Full with Enhanced Communications Full with Standard Communications Global Network Subscribers
    26. 27. QuestionPoint: Standard Features <ul><li>Text chat </li></ul><ul><li>Email management </li></ul><ul><li>Question referral to other librarians, libraries, people outside the QP Network </li></ul><ul><li>Global Knowledge Base </li></ul><ul><li>Scripted Responses </li></ul>
    27. 28. QuestionPoint: Enhanced Features <ul><li>Voice Chat </li></ul><ul><li>Push Web pages </li></ul><ul><li>Application sharing </li></ul><ul><li>Co-browsing </li></ul><ul><li>Streaming video </li></ul><ul><li>Digital photo display </li></ul>
    28. 29. The Virtual Reference Desk <http://www.vrd.org> <ul><li>“ The Virtual Reference Desk (VRD) is a project dedicated to the advancement of digital reference and the successful creation and operation of human-mediated, Internet-based information services.” </li></ul><ul><li>Source: “About VRD” <http://www.vrd.org/about.shtml> </li></ul>
    29. 30. The Virtual Reference Desk <http://www.vrd.org> <ul><li>Funded by the U.S. Department of Education </li></ul><ul><li>Goal: To promote digital reference services through education, sharing, and training </li></ul><ul><li>Resources include a mailing list, a bibliography, and a database of services </li></ul><ul><li>Establishes standards: “Facets of Quality for Digital Reference Services” </li></ul><ul><li>Links to past conference proceedings </li></ul>
    30. 31. Implementing <ul><li>Planning </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Staffing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Budgeting </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Designing </li></ul><ul><li>Publicizing </li></ul>
    31. 32. Evaluating & Updating <ul><li>Evaluating </li></ul><ul><li>Seek user comments </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Evaluation forms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Surveys </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Questionnaires </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Usage Statistics </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Informally </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Troubleshooting </li></ul></ul>
    32. 33. Evaluating & Updating <ul><li>Updating </li></ul><ul><li>Test links </li></ul><ul><li>Look for new resources to add </li></ul><ul><li>Keep up with technology </li></ul><ul><li>Review other sites for ideas </li></ul><ul><li>Communicate and network </li></ul>

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