2018 03 - March 2018 Monthly Report

Maryland AskUsNow! Monthly Report

March 2018


By the Numbers:

  • Maryland library customers logged into chat 1461 times.
  • Maryland librarians answered questions in 934 chat sessions from Maryland and global customers.  
  • Maryland librarians followed up by email to customers’ chat questions 378 times.


Customers’ Comments:


Thank you!—The Montgomery County librarian gave resources to a Carroll County customer about how someone can represent themselves in a child custody cases.  The Maryland State Law Library followed up by email with resources and facts about how child custody cases can take a long time to resolve.

Librarian was friendly and extremely helpful. This is a great service. Thank you.— The Anne Arundel Community College Librarian gave the DC customer information about getting a library card and access to resources in Montgomery County.

SHE WAS PHENOMENAL!!!! SHE STAYED ONLINE TO MAKE SURE WHAT I NEEDED IS  CORRECT.— The Baltimore City librarian gave the Prince George’s customer instructions on how to access Ancestry.com and related genealogy resources.   She also helped the customer get a temporary library card to access some of the resources before she visits her local library.

Needs Improvement:

Yes, the sight said that Librarian Colleen joined, but they asked one question and never returned to the chat.—The out-of-state librarian accidentally disconnected with the customer on chat, but did not contact the customer’s home library in Baltimore County about the technical issues and urgency of the customer’s research question.  The customer’s library replied back by phone and email to provider resources and instruction to find articles specific to abuse studies in Ghana.


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

  • Megan Fratta, Maryland AskUsNow! Volunteer
  • Audrey Maynard, Prince George’s County Memorial Library System
  • Caleb Valentich, Prince George’s County Memorial Library System


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


Grant Activities:

The Interim Grant Report was submitted to the MSL.


  • 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 County, Montgomery County, and Prince George’s County Public School students:  http://askusnow.info/staff/reports/chatlocation/fy18.
    • The AUN Statewide Coordinator (Paul) and Frederick County Public Libraries’ Liaison did a presentation for 20, Frederick County Public Schools, secondary school librarians.
    • Schools that collaborated with the Statewide Coordinator on their students’ research needs include:
      • Baltimore County
      • Frederick County
  • Social Media:
    • Twitter: 51 tweets engaged approximately 4664 users.
    • Social media posts covered Women’s History Month and research topics asked frequently during the month.


  • New Staff:  Three librarians from Charles, Frederick and St. Mary’s Counties were trained at SMRLA.
  • Refresher:  February’s Digital Collections training is accessible as a recording with materials at http://askusnow.info/staff/training/refresher.
  • The AUN Statewide Coordinator did an online guest lecture for 15 students taking the UMD iSchool’s online,“Serving Information Needs” course. 

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

More News:


Submitted on 4/13/18 by PC