2017 12 - December 2017 Monthly Report

Maryland AskUsNow! Monthly Report

December 2017


By the Numbers:

  • Maryland library customers logged into 2367 chat times.
  • Maryland librarians answered questions in 1081 chat sessions from Maryland and global customers.
  • Maryland librarians followed up by email to customers’ chat questions 389 times.


Customers’ Comments:


This is the 2nd time I've used this service. Both times were excellent!  Thanks very much.—The Baltimore City librarian helped the Prince George’s customer learn how to search for eBooks in different formats in Overdrive.

The lady who helped me was very helpful.  She did her job very well!— The Baltimore City librarian cared with compassion towards a Harford County customer who had claimed she return items last week.  The items were found at her local library and checked in.

Needs Improvement:

She was not very helpful, and lacked communication I will not recommend Amy—The librarian gave the customer information too quickly for her NHD project, and was not given information about how to search the resources.  The Statewide Coordinator gave the librarian tips on how to improve the reference interview and pace of the chat with the customer.


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

  • Erin Kelly, Enoch Pratt Free Library/SLRC
  • Levi Branson, Frederick County Public Libraries
  • Jen Cavanaugh, St. Mary’s County Library


Committees:  The Exceptional Transcript Committee decided on three outstanding chats (Please see “Chat Librarian Recognition.”).    


Grant Activities:


  • General Audiences:  The Statewide Coordinator of AskUsNow! and the Chief of SLRC did a radio interview about AskUsNow! on Today’s 101.9, 105.7 The Fan, and Mix 106.5.  It played on 12/3/17.
  • Libraries, Schools, Educators, and Students:  online visibility of the service on MD library, school library media specialist, educational nonprofits and agencies websites have led to increases in use of the service from Baltimore City, Queen Anne’s and Washington County Public School students:  http://askusnow.info/staff/reports/chatlocation/fy18.
    • Schools that collaborated with the Statewide Coordinator on their students’ research needs include:
      • Baltimore City
      • Queen Anne’s
      • Washington
  • Social Media:
    • Twitter: 49 tweets engaged approximately 5396 users.
    • Social media posts covered Open Access Journals and Holiday reading and viewing advisory services.  The most popular post was about finding primary and secondary sources from university and college libraries’ digital collections.


  • New Staff:
    • SMRLA was booked as a statewide, new staff training site on 3/29/18.
    • Talibah Chikwendu (AUN Volunteer) is practicing chat.
  • Refresher:  Digital Collections are in the process of being the next training topic.

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

More News:

  • The Quarterly Liaison Meeting took place at the Perryville Branch of the Cecil County Public Library:  http://askusnow.info/staff/sites/default/files/Minutes_December2017_AUNLiaisonMeeting.pdf
  • A site visit took place at the Harford County Public Library.
  • Brianna Vachon and Talibah Chikwendu (AUN Volunteers) will be starting as chat providers in January 2018.  Brianna is an MLIS student at the University of Maryland, College Park.  Talibah is a school librarian at the Dorchester County Public Schools.
  • The Statewide Coordinator attended MD Tech Connect.


Submitted on 1/16/18 by PC