Virtual Reference Service: Our Real-Time Experience Leela Balraj and Tom Klingler Kent State University
Abstract Today's college students are conducting much of their academic research outside the physical confines of the trad...
Our setting:  Desktop H 323
Shared windows…
More shared windows…
Underway…
Background… <ul><li>Student Retention Initiative grant proposal </li></ul><ul><li>1.  Director, Information Services; </li...
Background… <ul><li>Reaching out to off-site users… </li></ul><ul><li>       &quot;Reference work includes the direct, per...
Background… <ul><li>Pilot target group: Honors College students </li></ul><ul><li>1.  Good working relationships </li></ul...
Our service…RefLINK <ul><li>Spring 2001:  Introduction of service & staff training </li></ul><ul><li>1.  Introduce service...
Our service…RefLINK… <ul><li>Summer 2001:  Pilot project with McNair  Scholars students </li></ul><ul><li>1.  Propose supp...
Our service…RefLINK… <ul><li>Fall 2001:  Honors College students </li></ul><ul><li>1. 'Food For Thought' lecture series </...
An incoming call…
Would you answer this one?!
Shared whiteboard…
E-boredom…
Two-way whiteboard…
Danger!  Video zoom….
Service issues… <ul><li>Training </li></ul><ul><li>1.  Team teaching </li></ul><ul><li>2.  Group instruction </li></ul><ul...
Service issues… <ul><li>Staffing </li></ul><ul><li>1.  Librarians </li></ul><ul><li>2.  Graduate Reference Assistants (lib...
Service issues… <ul><li>Real-time experiences </li></ul><ul><li>1.  Types of interactions - in-depth research topics; read...
Service issues… <ul><li>Promotion </li></ul><ul><li>1.  Daily Kent Stater  campus newspaper  articles </li></ul><ul><li>2....
Future… <ul><li>1.  Expand to other locations on campus - computer labs; dorms; branch libraries; campus help desk; region...
The technology… <ul><ul><li>Supports high-quality video and audio </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can be used with collaboratio...
Advantages of H 323… <ul><ul><li>1.  No ISDN line charges </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2.  Informal use by anyone anytime on...
H 323  v.  H 32x  <ul><li>1.  H 320 – for ISDN </li></ul><ul><li>2.  H 321 – for ATM  </li></ul><ul><li>3.  H 322 – for la...
What’s needed… <ul><li>1.  TCP/IP network </li></ul><ul><li>2.  Switched port is nice </li></ul><ul><li>3.  High-end PC </...
What’s in a kit? <ul><li>1.  Software </li></ul><ul><li>2.  Specialized video card </li></ul><ul><li>3.  Camera </li></ul>...
Some products… <ul><li>VCON  http://www.vcon.com/   </li></ul>
Products… <ul><li>Teleportec  h ttp://www.teleportec.com/ </li></ul>
Products… <ul><li>… another VCON product </li></ul>
Products… <ul><li>… a VCON model for small groups </li></ul>
Products… <ul><li>Metropark Supernova </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.metropark.com/ </li></ul>
Our VCON model <ul><li>Start up… </li></ul>
Some settings…
More settings…
Tricky technical issues… <ul><li>1.  Shared resolution </li></ul><ul><li>2.  Feedback </li></ul><ul><li>3.  Application sh...
More Products… <ul><li>1. Zydacron comCenter Conferencing Room System  </li></ul><ul><li>http://picturephone.com/products/...
Gateways and gatekeepers… <ul><li>1. Multi-protocol:  </li></ul><ul><li>Between  H323 (IP,) H320(ISDN,)  </li></ul><ul><li...
Gateway products… <ul><li>1. First Virtual </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.fvc.com/products/vgate.htm </li></ul><ul><li>2.  C...
Basics of H 323 <ul><li>1.  University of Illinois at Chicago </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.uic.edu/depts/accc/newsletter/a...
Bibliography… Broughton, K. M.  (2001).  Our experiment in online, real-time reference.  Computers in Libraries, 21  (4), ...
Bibliography…continued… <ul><li>Lipow, A. G.  (1998).  Reference service in a digital age.  Reference & User </li></ul><ul...
Bibliography…continued… <ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Sloan, B.  (2001).  Ready for reference: Academic libraries offer live...
Contact info… <ul><li>Virtual Reference Service: Our Real-time Experience at Kent </li></ul><ul><li>State University   </l...
Thanks… <ul><li>http://www.library.kent.edu/~tk/h323.ppt </li></ul>
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  1. 1. Virtual Reference Service: Our Real-Time Experience Leela Balraj and Tom Klingler Kent State University
  2. 2. Abstract Today's college students are conducting much of their academic research outside the physical confines of the traditional library building, using networked connections in labs, residence halls, apartments, and homes. This convenience has its drawbacks, particularly in terms of obtaining traditional reference assistance. Students anywhere can still benefit from the guidance that reference librarians are able to provide in retrieving relevant, accurate, and authoritative information. One new initiative at Kent State University is to provide virtual reference service to students at remote locations using real-time videoconferencing. This session will discuss the practical as well as the technical aspects of our experiences.
  3. 3. Our setting: Desktop H 323
  4. 4. Shared windows…
  5. 5. More shared windows…
  6. 6. Underway…
  7. 7. Background… <ul><li>Student Retention Initiative grant proposal </li></ul><ul><li>1. Director, Information Services; </li></ul><ul><li>Coordinator, Reference Services; </li></ul><ul><li>Dean, Honors College </li></ul><ul><li>2. Promote reference service </li></ul>
  8. 8. Background… <ul><li>Reaching out to off-site users… </li></ul><ul><li>      &quot;Reference work includes the direct, personal aid within a library to persons in search of information for whatever purpose, and also various library activities especially aimed at making information as easily available as possible.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>-Margaret Hutchins, Introduction to Reference Work (1944) </li></ul><ul><li>     1.  Traditional off-site reference service: Telephone; Email </li></ul><ul><li>2. Recent off-site reference service: Chat; Video/Audio </li></ul><ul><li> real-time conferencing; 24/7 </li></ul>
  9. 9. Background… <ul><li>Pilot target group: Honors College students </li></ul><ul><li>1. Good working relationships </li></ul><ul><li>2. Attractive environment - library resource room; computer lab; dorms </li></ul><ul><li>3. Appropriate networking </li></ul><ul><li>4. Meet information needs - individual honors work; senior honors thesis/project </li></ul>
  10. 10. Our service…RefLINK <ul><li>Spring 2001: Introduction of service & staff training </li></ul><ul><li>1. Introduce service – Open House </li></ul><ul><li>2. 'Name The Service' survey - RefLINK </li></ul><ul><li>3. Training - team teaching; observation; group instruction </li></ul>
  11. 11. Our service…RefLINK… <ul><li>Summer 2001: Pilot project with McNair Scholars students </li></ul><ul><li>1. Propose support for new service </li></ul><ul><li>2. Establish working relationship with students </li></ul><ul><li>3. Demonstrate service </li></ul><ul><li>4. Get feedback – formal & informal </li></ul><ul><li>5. Keep lines of communication open </li></ul>
  12. 12. Our service…RefLINK… <ul><li>Fall 2001: Honors College students </li></ul><ul><li>1. 'Food For Thought' lecture series </li></ul><ul><li>2. Advertise service - Daily Kent Stater; flyers </li></ul><ul><li>3. Promote service - Student reporter </li></ul>
  13. 13. An incoming call…
  14. 14. Would you answer this one?!
  15. 15. Shared whiteboard…
  16. 16. E-boredom…
  17. 17. Two-way whiteboard…
  18. 18. Danger! Video zoom….
  19. 19. Service issues… <ul><li>Training </li></ul><ul><li>1. Team teaching </li></ul><ul><li>2. Group instruction </li></ul><ul><li>3. Observation </li></ul>
  20. 20. Service issues… <ul><li>Staffing </li></ul><ul><li>1. Librarians </li></ul><ul><li>2. Graduate Reference Assistants (library science students) </li></ul><ul><li>3. Library Associates (future) </li></ul>
  21. 21. Service issues… <ul><li>Real-time experiences </li></ul><ul><li>1. Types of interactions - in-depth research topics; ready reference; citation verification </li></ul><ul><li>2. Problems encountered - technical glitches </li></ul><ul><li>3. Lessons learned - learning curve; user acceptance </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>
  22. 22. Service issues… <ul><li>Promotion </li></ul><ul><li>1. Daily Kent Stater campus newspaper articles </li></ul><ul><li>2. Flyers in Honors College bulletin board and computer lab </li></ul>
  23. 23. Future… <ul><li>1. Expand to other locations on campus - computer labs; dorms; branch libraries; campus help desk; regional campuses; distance education </li></ul><ul><li>2. Expand hours of service - meet needs of students </li></ul><ul><li>3. Technology advancements </li></ul>
  24. 24. The technology… <ul><ul><li>Supports high-quality video and audio </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can be used with collaboration tools: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>a. shared whiteboard </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>b. shared browser </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3. Point-to-point or multipoint </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>4. H 323 is the protocol standard for video conferencing-over-IP </li></ul></ul>
  25. 25. Advantages of H 323… <ul><ul><li>1. No ISDN line charges </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2. Informal use by anyone anytime on a desktop PC </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3. Less need for expensive special rooms and advance reservations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>4. Cheap: a typical PC can be upgraded to a good quality videoconferencing station for $900.00 </li></ul></ul>
  26. 26. H 323 v. H 32x <ul><li>1. H 320 – for ISDN </li></ul><ul><li>2. H 321 – for ATM </li></ul><ul><li>3. H 322 – for lans with QoS </li></ul><ul><li>4. H 323 – for IP </li></ul>
  27. 27. What’s needed… <ul><li>1. TCP/IP network </li></ul><ul><li>2. Switched port is nice </li></ul><ul><li>3. High-end PC </li></ul><ul><li>4. An H 323 kit </li></ul><ul><li>5. MCU gateway for multipoint conferences (and multi-protocol) </li></ul>
  28. 28. What’s in a kit? <ul><li>1. Software </li></ul><ul><li>2. Specialized video card </li></ul><ul><li>3. Camera </li></ul><ul><li>4. Microphone </li></ul>
  29. 29. Some products… <ul><li>VCON http://www.vcon.com/ </li></ul>
  30. 30. Products… <ul><li>Teleportec h ttp://www.teleportec.com/ </li></ul>
  31. 31. Products… <ul><li>… another VCON product </li></ul>
  32. 32. Products… <ul><li>… a VCON model for small groups </li></ul>
  33. 33. Products… <ul><li>Metropark Supernova </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.metropark.com/ </li></ul>
  34. 34. Our VCON model <ul><li>Start up… </li></ul>
  35. 35. Some settings…
  36. 36. More settings…
  37. 37. Tricky technical issues… <ul><li>1. Shared resolution </li></ul><ul><li>2. Feedback </li></ul><ul><li>3. Application sharing </li></ul>
  38. 38. More Products… <ul><li>1. Zydacron comCenter Conferencing Room System </li></ul><ul><li>http://picturephone.com/products/comcenterroomsystem.htm </li></ul><ul><li>2. PictureTel 960 & 970 Videoconferencing Systems </li></ul><ul><li>http://picturephone.com/products/picturetel_960_970.htm </li></ul><ul><li>3. Polycom ViewStation H.323 </li></ul><ul><li>http://picturephone.com/products/polycom_viewstation_h323.htm </li></ul>
  39. 39. Gateways and gatekeepers… <ul><li>1. Multi-protocol: </li></ul><ul><li>Between H323 (IP,) H320(ISDN,) </li></ul><ul><li>H321 (ATM) </li></ul><ul><li>2. Multi-point: </li></ul><ul><li>More than two participants </li></ul><ul><li>3. MCU = Multipoint Control/Conferencing Unit </li></ul>
  40. 40. Gateway products… <ul><li>1. First Virtual </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.fvc.com/products/vgate.htm </li></ul><ul><li>2. Cisco </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.cisco.com/univercd/cc/td/doc/pcat/vc3500.htm </li></ul><ul><li>3. Radvision </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.radvision.com/f_products/f1_overview.php3?prod=Products%2BOverview </li></ul>
  41. 41. Basics of H 323 <ul><li>1. University of Illinois at Chicago </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.uic.edu/depts/accc/newsletter/adn30/techtip.html </li></ul><ul><li>2. Synetrix </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.synetrix.co.uk/technologies/video/video_conferencing.htm </li></ul><ul><li>3. IMTC ( International Multimedia Telecommunications Consortium ) </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.imtc.org/h323.htm </li></ul>
  42. 42. Bibliography… Broughton, K. M. (2001). Our experiment in online, real-time reference. Computers in Libraries, 21 (4), 26-31. Janes, J., et.al. (1999). Digital reference services in academic libraries.   Reference & User Services Quarterly, 39 (2), 145-150. Kasowitz, A., et.al. (2000). Quality standards for digital reference consortia. Reference & User Services Quarterly, 39 (4), 355-363. Kenney, B. J. (2001). Academic libraries test Web-based reference. Library Journal, 126 (12), 25.   Lankes, R. D. et. al. (Eds.). (2000). Digital reference service in the new millennium: Planning, management, and evaluation. New York: Neal-Schuman.  
  43. 43. Bibliography…continued… <ul><li>Lipow, A. G. (1998). Reference service in a digital age. Reference & User </li></ul><ul><li>Services Quarterly , 38 (1), 47-48. </li></ul><ul><li>Meola, M. & Stormont, S. (2000). Real-time reference service for the </li></ul><ul><li>remote user: From the telephone and electronic mail to Internet chat, </li></ul><ul><li>instant messaging, and collaborative software. The Reference Librarian, </li></ul><ul><li>no. 67-68, 29-40. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Oder, N. (2001). The shape of e-reference. Library Journal, 126 (2), 46-49. </li></ul><ul><li>Schneider, K. G. (2000). The distributed librarian: Live, online, real-time </li></ul><ul><li>reference. American Libraries, 31 (10), 64. </li></ul>
  44. 44. Bibliography…continued… <ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Sloan, B. (2001). Ready for reference: Academic libraries offer live web-based </li></ul><ul><li>reference: Preliminary report. Retrieved October 15, 2001 on the World </li></ul><ul><li>Wide Web: http://www.lis.uiuc.edu/~b-sloan/ready4ref.htm </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Tenopir, C. (2001). Virtual reference services in a real world. Library </li></ul><ul><li>Journal, 126 (12), 38-40. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Weissman, S. (2001). Considering a launch? Library Journal, 126 (2), 49. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Wolf, L. C. (1999). Multimedia applications in heterogeneous </li></ul><ul><li>Internet/ATM environments. Internet Research: Electronic Networking </li></ul><ul><li>Applications and Policy, 9 (1), 49-57. </li></ul>
  45. 45. Contact info… <ul><li>Virtual Reference Service: Our Real-time Experience at Kent </li></ul><ul><li>State University </li></ul><ul><li>Leela Balraj Tom Klingler </li></ul><ul><li>Information Services Librarian Assistant Dean for Systems </li></ul><ul><li>Reference Dept. Kent State University </li></ul><ul><li>Kent State University P.O. Box 5190 </li></ul><ul><li>P.O. Box 5190 Kent, OH 44242 </li></ul><ul><li>Kent, OH 44242 Voice: 330-672-1646 </li></ul><ul><li>Voice: 330-672-1657 Fax: 330-672-4811 </li></ul><ul><li>Fax: 330-672-3964 Email: [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Email: [email_address] </li></ul>
  46. 46. Thanks… <ul><li>http://www.library.kent.edu/~tk/h323.ppt </li></ul>

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