2018 12 - December 2018 Monthly Report

Maryland AskUsNow! Monthly Report

December 2018


By the Numbers:

  • Maryland library customers logged into chat 1412 times.
  • Maryland librarians answered questions in 875 chat sessions from Maryland and global customers.  
  • Maryland librarians followed up by email to customers’ chat questions 385 times.
  • Statistical Sampling:  Q2 YTD:  11473 chat questions. 

Customers’ Comments:


Lark is a great man. He defintiely helped alot with my paper. Have a great day on purpose :)—The Worcester County librarian provided articles on REM sleep and lucid dreams from .gov and the Prince George’s County customer’s online resources.

This service is wonderful!  Thank you for keeping up with technology!!—The Baltimore County librarian helped a Baltimore City customer place holds on DVDS, and request DVDS not available directly at her library.

Needs Improvement:

I got into chat and before I could post my inquiry I was rudely disconnected. 
Is state education as incompetent as state and federal government???
No surprised... :(
—The CCBC customer was disconnected two times by the same chat librarian.  The chat librarian has received tips to improve his chat performance. 


Chat Librarian Recognition:  The following chat librarians were recognized for their exemplary, virtual reference skills:

  • Emily Sachs, Enoch Pratt Free Library/SLRC
  • Metta Lash, Montgomery County Public Library
  • Kati Kolenda, St. Mary’s County Library


Grant Activities:


  • Marketing to the General Public:  Social Media:
    • Twitter:  50 tweets engaged approximately 8458 users. 
    • Strategies​​:  Social media posts covered Self-Care resources, and research topics asked frequently during the month.
    • The most popular Tweet of the month:  "Hello. I am doing my National History Day project on Wilma Rudolph. Our teacher recommended that we come here for help. Can you help find any primary sources on her?" Great recommendation! Chat with a librarian at http://www.askusnow.info.
  • Marketing to Schools:  Paul is in the process of gathering survey feedback from the Calvert and St. Mary’s County Public Schools about their AUN experiences since presenting at their August 2018 Professional Development Days.


  • Refresher Training:  “Strategic Scripts on Chat” had 10 people in attendance.
  • New Staff Training:  Five staff from Harford and Washington Counties were trained on how to provide chat at AUN.

Chat Librarian Reference Transactions with Customers:  Please see “By the Numbers.”

More News:

  • Paul visited the Baltimore City Community College’s Bard Library and the Washington County Free Library. 
  • RUSA RSS Virtual Reference Committee:  the dates for the Virtual Reference eForum have been confirmed for Wednesday, 2/26-Thursday, 2/27/19.
  • QuestionPoint/Collaborative-VR:
    • QuestionPoint:  the soft launch for the new Chat monitor will begin at the end of January/early February, and last approximately 3 weeks. 
    • 2/12/19, North American VR Conference: 
  • Liaison Meeting:  The quarterly Liaison Meeting was hosted at the Eldersburg Branch of the Carroll County Public Library.  The minutes are available at http://askusnow.info/staff/liaisons/meetings/december2018minutes.   
  • Future Planning:  After the soft launch of the new Chat Monitor, AUN libraries will be provided training documentation to train new and current AUN chat librarians.  Statewide, New Staff and Refresher Training sessions will discontinue.


Submitted on 1/18/19 by PC