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I Need Help NOW! Instant Messaging Reference Service @ McNeese

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IM in the Library: Using Trillian and Meebo to serve patrons instantly.

Presented by Rebecca Blakeley (aka Rebecca Troy-Horton was my maiden name) and Jessica Hutchings at the 2007 LOUIS Users Conference.

Published in: Technology, Education
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I Need Help NOW! Instant Messaging Reference Service @ McNeese

  1. 1. I Need Help NOW! Instant Messaging Reference Service @ McNeese Rebecca Troy-Horton Jessica Hutchings McNeese State University
  2. 2. Before we begin… <ul><li>How many have used/use IM? </li></ul><ul><li>How many have used/use IM for inter-departmental or staff communication? </li></ul><ul><li>For reference services? </li></ul>
  3. 3. Huh? What’s IM? <ul><li>“ Instant Messaging” </li></ul><ul><li>i.e. Instant, simultaneous text chat </li></ul><ul><li>Add-ons like video, audio, file sharing </li></ul><ul><li>Similar to “texting” on your cell phone but the program is on your computer. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Why should libraries IM? <ul><li>Virtual Reference can be costly and cumbersome (imho, lol). </li></ul><ul><li>Concerns with QuestionPoint </li></ul><ul><li>IM is faster and simpler for users. </li></ul><ul><li>FREE! </li></ul>
  5. 5. Why IM? <ul><li>“ IM-ing” is a common form of communication for today’s college students: Pew Study </li></ul><ul><li>To serve all users: in-house & remote </li></ul><ul><li>To attract and serve new users </li></ul><ul><li>We want to be where our users are: online! </li></ul>
  6. 6. Why IM? <ul><li>Because everyone and your Grandma uses it. </li></ul><ul><li> Source: Pew Study </li></ul><ul><li>All kinds of libraries are implementing IM Reference services: </li></ul><ul><li>Library Success Wiki list </li></ul>
  7. 7. How do I get started? <ul><li>Choose an “IM Client” (i.e. AIM, Yahoo, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Be aware that users on different services cannot communicate with each other! </li></ul><ul><li>Some libraries only use AIM but most provide service to AIM, Yahoo, and MSN users all at once (the “Big Three”). </li></ul><ul><ul><li> How do they do that?!?! </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. How do I get started (cont.) <ul><li>With Multi-protocol clients, it’s easy to provide service to these “big three” and others! (i.e. Trillian or Pidgin ) </li></ul><ul><li>Create a library screen name: </li></ul>
  9. 9. What is Trillian? <ul><li>Trillian is a FREE program that connects to multiple IM clients (AIM, Yahoo, MSN, and ICQ) through one interface. </li></ul><ul><li>For a fee, (“Trillian Pro”) you can also have more IM clients included: </li></ul><ul><li>Jabber, MySpace, Google Talk, etc. </li></ul>
  10. 10. How does it work? <ul><li>User Opens their regular IM client. </li></ul><ul><li>Visits our home page to retrieve our screen name: McNeeseLibrarian </li></ul><ul><li>Adds our IM screen name to their “buddy list” </li></ul><ul><li>They send us an </li></ul><ul><li>IM and we chat! </li></ul>
  11. 11. Coming Soon…Trillian Astra! <ul><li>Upcoming Web 2.0-friendly version: </li></ul><ul><li>Trillian Astra </li></ul>
  12. 12. Staff Training <ul><li>Install Trillian on every staff computer </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Create your own screen names </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Communicate b/w staff members </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Become familiar with interface </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Advertise your own IM screen name (ex. 1 & 2 ) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Install Trillian on Ref. Desk computer but don’t launch the service yet!!! </li></ul>
  13. 13. Things to address before the launch: <ul><li>Read RUSA’s Virtual Reference Guidelines . </li></ul><ul><li>Demonstrate IM to all staff and explain why you’re doing this. </li></ul><ul><li>Provide training materials. </li></ul><ul><li>Have staff practice with each other. </li></ul><ul><li>Canned scripts for common questions? </li></ul><ul><li>Demonstrate how to block abusive users. </li></ul><ul><li>Create a standard away message. </li></ul><ul><li>Pick a user icon (logo?) </li></ul><ul><li>Do you want to keep stats? </li></ul><ul><li>Keep transcripts for review? </li></ul>
  14. 14. Marketing/Publicizing <ul><li>Flyers, bookmarks, table tents, outreach events, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Web presence </li></ul><ul><li>Campus email announcement </li></ul><ul><li>Mention in instruction sessions </li></ul>
  15. 15. Concerns <ul><li>Viruses? (E-mail and web browsing cause more security problems than IM!) </li></ul><ul><li>Obnoxious users? </li></ul><ul><li>Library needs to actively secure user information (delete screen names in transcripts, delete buddy lists) </li></ul><ul><li>Privacy concerns…issue a disclaimer? </li></ul>
  16. 16. Staffing <ul><li>McNeese IM is staffed all the hours that the Library is open. </li></ul><ul><li>Most hours staffed by 6 Reference staff members, including one paraprofessional. </li></ul>
  17. 17. How much will it be used? <ul><li>Consider your library users and non-users, your community, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Consider student demographics – commuter/distance ed. vs. on campus </li></ul><ul><li>Market, market, market! </li></ul>
  18. 18. Do McNeese Patrons Use It? <ul><li>66 IM transactions from its launch in February through the end of June </li></ul><ul><li>More highly used early in the term </li></ul><ul><li>It is not used so frequently that it interferes with live reference services </li></ul>
  19. 19. What do they want? <ul><li>User ID and PIN numbers </li></ul><ul><li>Hours of operation </li></ul><ul><li>All kinds of things! </li></ul><ul><li>Let’s see some examples of archived transcripts… </li></ul>
  20. 20. Patron 1 <ul><li>[17:34] Patron1: How Do I get to JSTOR? </li></ul><ul><li>[17:39] McNeeseLibrarian: one moment please. </li></ul><ul><li>[17:41] McNeeseLibrarian: ok, are you still there? </li></ul><ul><li>[17:41] *** You have been successfully added to Patron1’s contact list. </li></ul><ul><li>[17:41] Patron1: yeah </li></ul><ul><li>[17:41] McNeeseLibrarian: </li></ul><ul><li>http://library.mcneese.edu/)http://library.mcneese.edu/ </li></ul><ul><li>[17:41] McNeeseLibrarian: Click here to get to our library website. </li></ul><ul><li>[17:42] McNeeseLibrarian: Then underneath &quot;research tools&quot; you'll need to </li></ul><ul><li>click on &quot;find journal articles and use electronic databases&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>[17:42] McNeeseLibrarian: then click on &quot;list&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>[17:42] McNeeseLibrarian: then scroll down to JSTOR. </li></ul><ul><li>[17:42] McNeeseLibrarian: then you'd use your user ID and PIN to login. </li></ul><ul><li>[17:43] Patron1: okay </li></ul><ul><li>[17:43] McNeeseLibrarian: is that working? </li></ul><ul><li>[17:43] Patron1: yeah i found it thank you </li></ul><ul><li>[17:43] McNeeseLibrarian: great! </li></ul><ul><li>[17:43] McNeeseLibrarian: I'm going to take a dinner break, and I'll be back </li></ul><ul><li>from 7 to about 930 if you need more help! </li></ul><ul><li>[17:44] Patron1: okay thanks </li></ul><ul><li>Session Close (Patron1): Sun Jun 17 17:44:22 2007 </li></ul>
  21. 21. Patron 2 <ul><li>[17:00] Patron2: are there tape players in the library? like there would be in a </li></ul><ul><li>language lab? </li></ul><ul><li>[17:03] McNeeseLibrarian: We have VCR players and a DVD but I'll call up to </li></ul><ul><li>find out if they have tape players. </li></ul><ul><li>[17:04] Patron2: thanks... like a cassette player </li></ul><ul><li>[17:04] McNeeseLibrarian: They have at least one and are checking to see if </li></ul><ul><li>they have more. </li></ul><ul><li>[17:05] Patron2: Ok, so there are some at least... do you know if there are </li></ul><ul><li>headphone adapters on it? </li></ul><ul><li>[17:06] McNeeseLibrarian: I'll ask. </li></ul><ul><li>[17:07] McNeeseLibrarian: They have only one cassette player and it does </li></ul><ul><li>have headphones/adapters.;-) </li></ul><ul><li>[17:07] Patron2: oh good! thank you! </li></ul><ul><li>[17:07] McNeeseLibrarian: You're welcome. Just go to the second floor </li></ul><ul><li>Serials Department and ask at the big 'U' shaped desk. </li></ul><ul><li>[17:08] Patron2: ok, thanks again </li></ul><ul><li>[17:08] McNeeseLibrarian: OK... </li></ul><ul><li>Session Close (Patron2): Thu Mar 08 17:08:28 2007 </li></ul>
  22. 22. Patron 3 <ul><li>[14:36] Patron3: hi </li></ul><ul><li>[14:36] McNeeseLibrarian: hi </li></ul><ul><li>[14:37] Patron3: i am ***, a new international student from *** studying for my MBA. </li></ul><ul><li>[14:38] McNeeseLibrarian: ok, how can I help you? </li></ul><ul><li>[14:38] Patron3: in one of my courses, i am supposed to submit a research topic that i'll use </li></ul><ul><li>regression analysis to carry out the data analysis </li></ul><ul><li>[14:39] McNeeseLibrarian: ok, what class is this for? </li></ul><ul><li>[14:39] Patron3: foundation of economic analysis </li></ul><ul><li>[14:40] McNeeseLibrarian: so what kind of information do you need? </li></ul><ul><li>[14:42] Patron3: i am wondering if you can help me in getting some suggested topics that are </li></ul><ul><li>actually 'researchable&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>[14:42] Patron3: and can be analysed using regression analysis </li></ul><ul><li>[14:42] McNeeseLibrarian: ok, let me think about this... </li></ul><ul><li>[14:42] Patron3: ok </li></ul><ul><li>[14:44] McNeeseLibrarian: because I'm not very familiar with this topic, I think you should look in </li></ul><ul><li>the database &quot;Business Source Complete&quot; and search for &quot;Regression analysis&quot; AND </li></ul><ul><li>economics </li></ul><ul><li>[14:45] McNeeseLibrarian: this will give you a list of articles that people have written using </li></ul><ul><li>regression analysis. </li></ul><ul><li>[14:45] Patron3: ok </li></ul><ul><li>[14:45] McNeeseLibrarian: http://library.mcneese.edu/electron/databases.htm#B)http://library.mcneese.edu/electron/tabas s.htm#B </li></ul><ul><li>[14:45] McNeeseLibrarian: you can find the link to business source complete at that link </li></ul><ul><li>[14:45] McNeeseLibrarian: if it asks you for a user id and PIN, let me know. </li></ul><ul><li>[14:45] McNeeseLibrarian: unless you already know your logon information </li></ul><ul><li>[14:46] Patron3: i have the info already </li></ul><ul><li>[14:46] Patron3: thanks </li></ul><ul><li>[14:46] McNeeseLibrarian: great, please let me know if this doesn't work for you. </li></ul><ul><li>[14:46] Patron3: ok </li></ul>
  23. 23. Patron 4 <ul><li>[09:36] Patron4: There use to be a report where </li></ul><ul><li>you could review the mcneese employees </li></ul><ul><li>classification and pay. Is that still available </li></ul><ul><li>at the library? </li></ul><ul><li>[09:37] McNeeseLibrarian: Yes. Ask for the current </li></ul><ul><li>McNeese budget at the library's Circulation </li></ul><ul><li>desk. </li></ul><ul><li>[09:38] Patron4: Thank you. I will come over at </li></ul><ul><li>1pm to review. Thank you </li></ul><ul><li>[09:38] McNeeseLibrarian: You're welcome! </li></ul><ul><li>Session Close (Patron4): Thu Mar 08 09:38:43 2007 </li></ul>
  24. 24. Future of IM Reference at McNeese <ul><li>Meebo !!! </li></ul>
  25. 25. i.e., Florida State University Library
  26. 26. Advantages of Meebo <ul><li>Anyone on the website can use it </li></ul><ul><li>Web-based = no installations </li></ul><ul><li>Users do not need a separate IM account </li></ul><ul><li>More anonymous </li></ul><ul><li>More visible </li></ul>
  27. 27. Conclusions <ul><li>IM Reference will not take over your department </li></ul><ul><li>It is an additional way that we can make ourselves available to those who need us </li></ul>
  28. 28. Questions? <ul><li>Contact us anytime! </li></ul><ul><li>E-mail: rtroyhorton@mcneese.edu </li></ul><ul><ul><li> [email_address] </li></ul></ul><ul><li>IM: MSUBecca </li></ul><ul><ul><li>MSULibraryJess </li></ul></ul><ul><li> (AOL, Yahoo!, MSN) </li></ul>

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