A National Virtual Reference Service for the U.S.? Discussion, ALA Midwinter 2011#nationalvr<br />Susan McGlamery<br />Que...
Raising the visibility of Reference<br />Make the library the first choice for high-quality reference service<br />Reach n...
How do people find information?<br />
Where Search For Top Topic Begins<br />In general, most go to a search engine when searching for the topic they search for...
2009 Library Services Study<br />Harris Interactive’ survey:  October 28 to November 12, 2009 <br /> 2,743 qualified respo...
Ever Started a Search Using a Search Engine and Ended up at a Library Web site<br />Approximately one in five have started...
Likelihood of Using Services Offered by Local/Campus Library<br />Nearly four in ten are very/somewhat likely to use event...
Consumers and Question & Answer Sites<br />Among those who use Q&A sites (982 of the 2,743 or 36% surveyed) , searching fo...
Online Library Information/Resources Valuable to Access From Sites (cont’d)<br />Thirty-one percent of primary public libr...
Usage of Online Information Sources <br />Question & Answer sites are used by nearly one-half of those who use their mobil...
How Question & Answer Sites are Accessed<br />Nine in ten use Q&A sites for free.<br />© Harris Interactive<br />11<br />b...
Reasons For Using Question & Answer Sites Instead of a Library<br />One-half of those who use a fee-based service to acces...
Yahoo!Answers UK knowledge partner<br />
Why a national service? <br />Easier to promote<br />Embed in partner sites<br />Subject expert referral networks<br />Sav...
Statewide services<br />
Enquire: UK public libraries<br />2004 – present (successor to email service)<br />Steady increase in statistics due to em...
National services in the U.S.<br />CDRS [now QuestionPoint Global Reference Network]<br />Internet Public Library<br />24/...
AskNow (AU): 2002 - 2010<br />Decline in usage (58% from 2004 to 2010)<br />Disproportionately used for “homework help”<br...
Models<br />A.		Promote “Ask” [like “Read”]<br />    Intelligent re-direct to existing services 	based on IP, geolocation,...
A: “Ask” campaign<br />What organization will take this on?<br />What is being promoted? <br />E.g., Got questions? Ask at...
B.  Re-direct<br />What method to use?<br />What if anything should be asked of user before re-direct:  zip code? State? <...
C. Triage<br /><ul><li>Collaborative answering of “simple” questions, referral to subject/local expert for harder questions
Who/which group does initial sorting?
Quality Review
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National VR discussion

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

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National VR discussion

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

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