Im Nyla


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Im Nyla

  1. 1. Instant Messaging on the Reference Desk Sarah Maximiek and Erin Rushton [email_address] [email_address] Binghamton University November 2, 2006
  2. 2. Chat with a Librarian 2003- 2004
  3. 3. Ask a Librarian July 2004 - July 2005 <ul><li>Docutek software </li></ul><ul><li>Patron required to fill out form before submitting question </li></ul><ul><li>Librarians required to sign into Docutek at beginning of reference shift. </li></ul><ul><li>Low usage </li></ul><ul><li>Unreliable service </li></ul>
  4. 4. Instant Messaging Task Force <ul><li>Creation of “Instant Messaging Task Force” in March 2005 </li></ul><ul><li>Service considerations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Offer service in both Libraries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use software popular with students </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Simple, easy to use </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fast to implement </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Problems and Solutions <ul><li>Problems </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How to support multiple IM services without multiple windows? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How to minimize software downloads on staff and public PCs? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Solutions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Multi-protocol IM client. </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Software considerations <ul><li>Compatible with different operating systems (Mac, Linux, Windows) </li></ul><ul><li>Secure </li></ul><ul><li>No System/IT conflicts </li></ul><ul><li>Availability of useful features (e.g. transcripts, scripted messages, statistics, etc.). </li></ul>
  7. 7. Trillian <ul><li>Supports AIM, ICQ, MSN, Gtalk, and Yahoo Messenger. </li></ul><ul><li>Supports file transfers, group chats, typing notification and emoticons </li></ul><ul><li>Saves transcripts automatically as .txt files </li></ul><ul><li>Basic version available for free </li></ul><ul><li>Displays connectivity to accounts in the system tray. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Monitored accounts Buddies
  9. 12. Launching the Service <ul><li>Discussed concerns at Reference meetings </li></ul><ul><li>Encouraged librarians to set up and use IM accounts in Trillian. </li></ul><ul><li>Created IM accounts in AOL, Yahoo and MSN for Science Library and Bartle Library </li></ul><ul><li>Conducted a training session covering Trillian and IM use </li></ul><ul><li>Updated reference privacy policy </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>#referenceprivacy </li></ul></ul>
  10. 13. Staffing <ul><li>Staffed by Reference Desk staff (grad students, librarians and professionals) </li></ul><ul><li>Desk hours differ, but we share staffing to ensure equal coverage </li></ul><ul><li>Use email alerts (Outlook) to remind when to sign on to accounts </li></ul>
  11. 14. Ask a Librarian June 2005 - <ul><li>Created “IM Pilot Page” and “Ask a Librarian” page </li></ul><ul><li>Launched IM pilot reference service in June 2005 </li></ul><ul><li>Discontinued Docutek Chat in July 2005 </li></ul>
  12. 16. Marketing <ul><li>Featured on Libraries’ web page, blogs and newsletter </li></ul><ul><li>Highlighted in What’s New in the Libraries exhibit </li></ul><ul><li>Discussed at orientation fairs for new students and parents </li></ul>
  13. 17. Marketing (2) <ul><li>Featured on library bookmarks </li></ul><ul><li>Discussed in articles and advertising about the Libraries in the student newspaper </li></ul>
  14. 18. How’s it going so far…. Some “observations” <ul><li>Over 400 questions answered since launch of service </li></ul><ul><li>Most questions from AOL (~90%) </li></ul><ul><li>Repeat patrons </li></ul><ul><li>Patrons seem to like the service </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ the im chat option is terrific, pass it along :) “ </li></ul></ul>
  15. 19. How’s it going so far…. Some “observations” (2) <ul><li>Lack of technical support from IM providers </li></ul><ul><li>IM interface is not robust </li></ul><ul><li>IM communication challenges: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Informal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of visual clues </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Quick </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hanging sessions </li></ul></ul>
  16. 20. How’s it going so far…. Some “observations” (3) <ul><li>Staffing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Can monitor at desk with current staffing levels </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reminders are valuable when sharing service coverage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Exposure to IM gets staff more comfortable with using it </li></ul></ul>
  17. 21. How’s it going so far…. Some “observations” (4) <ul><li>Marketing blitz not necessary. Word gets out. </li></ul><ul><li>Learn as you go service </li></ul><ul><li>Need to overcome idea that it is an “inferior” service </li></ul><ul><li>Students will IM more then one account with the same question </li></ul><ul><li>Librarians use IM internally </li></ul>
  18. 22. How’s it going so far…. Some “observations” (5) <ul><li>No excessive emoticons or abbreviations </li></ul><ul><li>Patrons are willing to wait if the staff is busy </li></ul><ul><li>Session lengths vary </li></ul><ul><li>Teachable moments </li></ul><ul><li>Patrons use the IM service to ask a variety of questions… </li></ul>
  19. 23. Questions from IM <ul><li>Hi, I was wondering if it costs anything to print something in the library. </li></ul><ul><li>hey- can u tell me if a book is on reserve? </li></ul><ul><li>Hi. Who is this? (student forgot who the username belonged to) </li></ul>
  20. 24. Questions from IM (2) <ul><li>i'm trying to locate spanish language cds and i'm unable to narrow down my search results enough to find them - any suggestions? </li></ul><ul><li>Hi, I help finding articles for one of my classes. I heard some kids talking about &quot;jstar&quot; or something like that. Do you know where I can find this? </li></ul>
  21. 25. Questions from IM (3) <ul><li>Hello. I need help finding two articles on food or agriculture for my environmental studies class. </li></ul><ul><li>I would like to know more about nys laws concerning monetary transactions. I received a receipt with the wrong date. Basically, I would like to know if that mistake would make the receipt invalid. </li></ul><ul><li>I am looking for sites related to Aids. I would appreciate if you could suggest me databases I should go through </li></ul>
  22. 26. Future Directions <ul><li>Commit to IM reference </li></ul><ul><li>Explore other depts using IM for patron help </li></ul><ul><li>Investigate co-browsing software (JYBE) </li></ul><ul><li>RAQIM </li></ul><ul><li>Meebo </li></ul><ul><li>Conduct in-depth analysis of questions </li></ul>
  23. 27. Assessment Goals <ul><li>Statistical data e.g. traffic, audience, length of session </li></ul><ul><li>Types of questions asked </li></ul><ul><li>Resources used to answer questions </li></ul><ul><li>Correctness and completeness of answers </li></ul>
  24. 28. Assessment Outcomes <ul><li>Evaluate quality of service (e.g. RUSA Behaviour Guidelines) </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluate website design and navigation </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluate staffing levels </li></ul><ul><li>Determine need for FAQs or other help </li></ul><ul><li>Determine need for electronic reference sources </li></ul>
  25. 29. Transcript Analysis <ul><li>Created form in Access Database </li></ul><ul><li>Created Access queries </li></ul><ul><li>Printed and numbered transcripts (July 2005 – July 2006) </li></ul><ul><li>Created coding guide </li></ul><ul><li>Tested 30 transcripts </li></ul><ul><li>Solicited reference volunteers </li></ul>
  26. 30. Discoveries <ul><li>Challenging endeavor </li></ul><ul><li>Quality is sometimes subjective </li></ul><ul><li>Necessary to double analyze many transcripts </li></ul><ul><li>Ongoing process – form and coding sheet can be revised forever; different judgments on correctness and completeness of questions </li></ul>