E-Mail Is SO Five Minutes Ago
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E-Mail Is SO Five Minutes Ago

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Presentation on the implementation of Instant Messaging Reference Services at the Lupton Library. Given at the Tennessee Library Association Annual Conference, Chattanooga, TN, April, 2007.

Presentation on the implementation of Instant Messaging Reference Services at the Lupton Library. Given at the Tennessee Library Association Annual Conference, Chattanooga, TN, April, 2007.

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  • VC Archive questions and use them for training new librarians, for improving service, staff development, and discovering what students are asking about. Use an IM aggregator like Meebo, Trillium, GAIM, etc. If librarians are offline, send a message with the reference e-mail address, reference hours, and a request to send the question by e-mail. GAIM covers Using Gaim AIM: Go to this website . MSN (including Hotmail email) : Go to http:// registernet.passport.com / . Yahoo: Go to http:// edit.yahoo.com/config/eval_register . Jabber: See the question How do I register a new Jabber account? below. ICQ: Go to http:// web.icq.com /register . Gadu-Gadu: Use the official client to create an account. Novell: See your Novell server administrator.
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  • BS Reference librarians practiced sending and receiving Soon we were ready to get our library “buddies” – the librarians that each of us would partner with to practice Every librarian spends at least an hour a week at the Reference Desk. We wanted to prepare them for IM reference using this practice time. Spent a couple of weeks practicing IM-ing at least once a day with our buddies
  • BS Discuss experience, concerns, problems, questions, ideas, and suggestions See if everyone feels ready to launch IM reference
  • BS Picked a Monday to start offering IM Reference service
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E-Mail Is SO Five Minutes Ago E-Mail Is SO Five Minutes Ago Presentation Transcript

  • E-Mail is SO Five Minutes Ago Virginia Cairns Beverly Simmons University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
  • Meet Generation Next
    • “They use technology and the internet to connect with people in new and distinctive ways. Text messaging, instant messaging and email keep them in constant contact with friends.”*
    • *How Young People View Their Lives, Futures and Politics
    • A PORTRAIT OF “GENERATION NEXT”
    • The Pew Research Center, Jan. 9, 2007
  • E-mail is for “old people”
    • “ Teens … said that they view email as something you use to talk to “old people,” … When it comes to casual written conversation, particularly when talking with friends, online instant messaging is the clearly the mode of choice for today’s online teens.”
    • Teens and Technology,
    • Pew Internet & American Life Project, July 2005.
  • IM is part of teens’ daily life
    • 75% of online teens — or about two-thirds of all teenagers — use instant messaging, compared to 42% of online adults.
    • 48% of teens who use instant messaging say they exchange IMs at least once every day.
  • Advantages of IM Reference
    • IM is easy and free
    • It’s where students are already
    • Easily integrated into existing Reference Desk service and hours
    • Also useful for internal library communication
  • So, what’s the plan?
    • Select software / IM service(s)
    • Develop policies and procedures
    • Create a training plan
    • Practice, practice, practice
    • Launch
    • Advertise
    • Evaluate
  • Which service to use?
    • Wanted an aggregator
      • AIM, Yahoo, MSN, Google
    • Open source…
      • Lower Cost
      • Increased support
      • Robust user base
      • Actively innovating
  • GAIM
    • Integrates the big 4 plus some
    • Open source
    • Easy to install
    • Flexible
    • Now called Pidgin
    • http://www.pidgin.im/
  • Setup decisions
    • Installed GAIM at Reference Desk and on individual librarian’s PCs
    • Created a reference department IM account on each of the big 4 services
    • Listed all 4 under a single GAIM profile (UTCREF) at the Reference Desk
    • Created an individual AIM account for each librarian (UTCREFname)
      • (Ex: utcrefbeverly)
  • What it looks like
  • Policy & Procedure decisions
    • Hours?
      • Same as Reference Desk
    • How to prioritize?
      • Juggle just as you would phone calls
    • Question too complex?
      • Suggest something other than IM
    • Inappropriate questions?
      • Use polite, canned answers
    • Statistics?
      • Collect GAIM log files for analysis
  • Training Sessions for Faculty
      • Mechanics of sending and receiving
      • Acronyms and IM culture/customs
      • Policies
      • Handling abusive or inappropriate messages
  • Training Sessions for Faculty
    • 2-page cheat sheet
    • Introduction of the “Library Buddy” plan
  • Reference Adopts Library Buddies
  • Ready for Opening Night?
  • Showtime!
  • Advertising
    • Wanted to cover all groups
    • Wanted a variety of formats
    • Wanted to create buzz
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  • One Stop Shop
  • What has it been like?
    • Initial statistics
    • Analysis of questions
    • Reactions of students
  • Initial Usage Statistics
    • 187 individual users so far
    • AIM is the most popular service
    • Averages thus far:
      • 70 questions a month
      • 17 questions a week
      • 2.5 questions per day
      • 6 minutes average duration
  • Traffic by day of the week What’s up with Tuesday? It’s our busiest day for IM!
  • Analysis of Questions
    • 33 session log files
    • (AIM users only)
      • Technical questions
      • Policy questions
      • Reference questions
  • Technical questions:
    • Logins, database access errors
      • 2/33 or 6%
    Hi, UTCRef: hi I am trying to log into ebsco from home and it won't let me do I need to be there? UTCRef: Let me try
  • Policy Questions
    • Hours, Circ. policies, ILL
      • 8/33 or 24%
    IM User: how long can dvd's be checked out for? UTCRef: If you're a student they can be checked out for 3 days IM User: ok thanks! UTCRef: Anytime....
  • Reference Questions
    • Known items
      • (Do you have…)
    • Database questions
      • (I’m searching Lexis…)
    • Topical questions
      • (I need sources on…)
    • 23/33 or 70%
  • Hello, I'm writing a paper for Eng. 122. Which library database will allow me to find Scholarly Journals? hi - what's your topic? haha, it's The Death Penalty. I have to have at least 3 sources showing different views of it. ok, i'd suggest InfoTrac OneFile or OmniFile. both are under "beginning research" when you click on Find Articles. both will let you find articles from scholarly journals. hold on a minute and I'll give you more specific guidance for InfoTrac. Great! hang on - I'm helping someone at the desk. back in a minute Not a prob, I'm here...
  • What has the response been?
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  • Overall Conclusions…
    • The number of e-questions has more than tripled our email-only numbers
    • More approachable library
    • Improved relationships with students
    • Higher level of visibility
    • Perception that “a lot is going on at the Library”
  • E-Mail is SO Five Minutes Ago [email_address] [email_address] University of Tennessee at Chattanooga