24/7 Reference Cooperative Training QuestionPoint: 24/7 Reference Service Director: Susan McGlamery email@example.com Today’s Trainer: Paula Rumbaugh firstname.lastname@example.org
Be there when they need you • Coverage around the clock • Expand hours of service without adding staff • Failsafe coverage • Staffed by librarians like you • 2 Cooperatives: Public and Academic
24/7 Reference is: • Over 1500 libraries in the U.S. and UK • Staffing cooperatively to provide service for all participating libraries, around the clock • Contract staff cover hours when no libraries are online
Who Participates in 24/7? • Single library • New York Public Library • Libraries within a region • HALS in southeastern Texas • Statewide Service • Maryland AskUsNow • AskMN 24/7 • Countrywide service • United Kingdom
Oklahoma New Mexico Texas 24/7 Reference Cooperative: US members Individual libraries Statewide Services Alaska Regional groups Washington Montana Maine North Dakota Minnesota Oregon VT NH MA Idaho Wisconsin South Dakota New York Wyoming Michigan RI CT Iowa Penn Ohio Nebraska Nevada NJ DE MD DC Utah Indiana Illinois WV Colorado VA Kansas California Missouri KY N Carolina Tennessee Arizona Arkansas SC AL Georgia MS LA FL Hawaii
How Do They Know?Answering on behalf of other libraries Cooperative Resources Library Policy Pages Scripted Messages Communication: • Transfer • IM Follow Up/ Referral
Coop Guidelines • QuestionPoint wiki http://wiki.questionpoint.org 24/7 Policies and Procedures http://wiki.questionpoint.org/247-Policies • Best Practices for 24/7 Reference Sessions: http://wiki.questionpoint.org/247-Best-Practices
Preparing for your shift • Be sure all workstation and browser settings are correct: see Guide to IE Browser set-up, at http://questionpoint.org/support/documentation/gettingstarted/chatsetup.pdf • Please be on time for your shift • During your shift, your first priority is picking up patrons from the chat queues you are monitoring
Picking up Patrons • During your shift, your first priority is picking up patrons from the chat queues you are monitoring • Pick up patrons as soon as they appear in the queue • Your own patrons (your primary queue) will appear to you before they appear to others outside your group. • After 40 seconds, all patrons will appear to monitoring Coop members. They should be picked up!
Greet the patron • Send a personal greeting, identifying yourself and indicating your willingness to help. Identify the name of the library or group you are affiliated with, in order to set expectations with the patron.
Greeting Examples • "Hello [patron name], my name is Mark, and I'm a reference librarian at xxx University. Your library and my library are part of a nationwide cooperative that staffs this chat service. I'm looking at your question right now." • "Hi [patron name]! Your call has been picked up by a librarian at the xxx service in [name of state]. Your library and my library are part of a nationwide group that provide backup for each other's service. I'm reading over your question and will be with you in just a moment."
Reference Interview Conduct an adequate reference interview to understand the question and the patron's information need. Be sure to clarify patron’s question before beginning the search.
Choosing Resources Choose resources at the appropriate level for the patron's research. In general, databases are preferable to Google or other general web sources when assisting students with research projects. Use the library policy page to find information using home library’s resources (including OPAC, databases, and guides). Evaluate resources for authority, objectivity, and currency; share with patron. Answer the right question accurately. Answer all questions.
Policy Pages • Template for each library in the Cooperative • Information about your library to assist other libraries to answer your patrons’ questions • Be sure it is up to date • All policies within the same group (BME) are linked via drop down list • For policies of groups other than those you’re monitoring, “Search Policy Pages”
Provide professional level search assistance • Provide context and instruction, rather than just sharing resources or merely sending web pages. • Provide enough guidance so that patron can recreate the search if needed (include the name of links, which one patron should click on, as well as the “click path”). • Merely providing links to resources often will not suffice – some URLs are dynamic, such as library catalog search results, and the links that appear in session transcripts may become dead links. • Recommend appropriate search terms and subject headings, in the context of a recommended search statement using Boolean operators. Provide examples of query constructions using basic and advanced Boolean operators.
Sending Information to Patron • Help patron evaluate the sources for relevancy to topic • Ask for feedback on resources sent
Scripted Messages and Web Pages Scripted messages for the patron library and your library: Patron library scripts for both SUP and BME, in one list Your institutions’s scripts plus your personal scripts
Script Administration • Go to “Ask” • Click on “Settings” • Click on “Institution Scripts” • The scripts are displayed in alphanumeric order. • To reorder your scripts, number them beginning at: 01, 02, etc. • 01_Greetings; 02_Please Clarify, etc
Interpersonal Skills • Create a welcoming atmosphere • Send messages frequently, so patron doesn't have long lags without chat from librarian (no more than 3 minutes should elapse without the librarian sending a message to each patron who is in session, even if it is a simple “I’m still working on your question”, or even “Still searching…” ) • Show interest in the patron's question through chat tone and choice of words • Use positive phrasing ("We can…" instead of "We don't/can't/won't…")
Interpersonal Skills (cont’d) • Use scripts appropriately, as needed • Paste small excerpts of information; avoid pasting long blocks of text in the chat. • Be sure links you send are not broken • Be careful to send chats to correct patrons when serving multiple patrons!
Best Practices for Virtual Reference Research by Lynn Silipigni Connaway and Marie Radford http://www.oclc.org/research/projects/synchronicity/resources/refren08-handout.pdf
Communicating with Others in the Cooperative See who else is online Is a librarian from the Patron’s library online? If so, are they busy?
IM with other librarians • Go to IM tab to see who is available • Click on the librarian you want to send an IM to • Your screen will change, allowing you to type an IM message to the selected librarian
View of Librarian Receiving an IM Request • Pop up and sound alert: New IM • Dismiss the pop up (click OK) • Click IM tab, then click sending librarian’s name • IM message loads into recipient librarian’s transcript area • Send IM messages in lower right text box