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Unseen Reference
Questions
Michelle Head, Albury LibraryMuseum Catherine Johnston, Coffs Harbour Libraries
Albury LibraryMusuem
Coffs Harbour Library
http://www.incidentalcomics.com/2015/08/asking-questions.html

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Unseen reference questions - #risg2018

Editor's Notes

  1. This presentation came about from a recent Reference and Information Services Group meeting which was held completely online and an evolving conversation about sharing skills and ideas for how different libraries manage information requests; in particular those questions that don’t walk in the door but come to the library in other ways – the unseen reference questions.
  2. Albury Library 2 branches - main branch at Albury; 2nd branch at Lavington Small ready reference collection including drug info and find legal answers, choice mags and choice online (flipster) as a combined librarymuseum we also have a social history collection
  3. LMS = Libero Library Website eLibrary pages including encyclopaedia Britannica Spreadsheet at Lavington to capture enquiries staff cannot answer Capture local history questions through spreadsheet World book encyclopaedia Re establishing regular staff training about online resources Online purchase suggestions
  4. Coffs Harbour Libraries 3 branches - main branch at Coffs Harbour, smaller branches at Toormina and Woolgoolga Walk-ins : small Ready Reference collections (all branches), Find Legal Answers, Choice magazine (at Coffs only), etc. Mix of lending and not-for-loan items in Non-Fiction collection
  5. LMS = Spydus Library website features a series of eResource pages Library subscribes to the state-wide databases as well as a couple of extra ones like Britannica, World Book Online, etc Online: Ask A Librarian link on website & via OPAC; make the most of our LMS’ Requests module to manage these requests - either Inter-Library Loan, Suggestion for Purchase, Information request; staff use the form as well for those enquiries that can’t be solved right then and there & when there is no one else to call on for assistance (eg, Saturday morning or after 5pm mid-week) We do have regular monthly training in a different eResource & all staff are advised to play with the eResources to get to know them better; the eResource of the month is displayed as the homepage rotator Library member access to State Library resources
  6. From the crowd: What do other libraries do that we could steal for our library? How do they manage enquiries? What would they like to be doing instead of what they currently doing (eg, have they explored everything their LMS can do?) Do all staff know what to do with questions they can’t answer in the first place? How do libraries manage out of hours questions & make the service accessible 24/7, how do libraries get answers to people who don’t / can’t access the online resources? Do any libraries do follow-up - was your question answered / please tell us what you think about your visit today? How easy is it for people to ask questions - in person & online? Thanks for sharing