2017 11 - November 2017 Monthly Report

Maryland AskUsNow! Monthly Report

November 2017


By the Numbers:

  • MD library customers logged into chat 2690 times, +183 compared to November 2016.
  • MD librarians answered questions in 1299 chat sessions from Maryland and global customers, +65 compared to November 2016.
  • Maryland librarians followed up by email to customers’ chat questions 425 times.


Customers’ Comments:


Thank you!— The Baltimore County librarian helped a Prince George’s County teacher learn about how to get access to Wi-Fi hotspots to further promote library services to her ESOL students.

Its always a great help—The Baltimore City librarian found specific titles that a Montgomery College student needed in the Montgomery County Public Libraries’ catalog.  The customer also learned how to use ILL services in the Montgomery County Public and Montgomery College Libraries.

Needs Improvement:

John disappeared just like that. After having waited for over two minutes, I asked: John, are you still there? He never answered. So I had to end the worthless session.—The Montgomery County student claimed that he stopped receiving research help from the Prince George’s librarian.  The librarian followed up with him to assure that help was given, and the student apologized and confirmed that he did receive what he needed on chat.


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

  • Cameron Caswell, Anne Arundel Community College’s Truxal Library
  • Kelly Donelson, Harford County Public Library
  • Betsey Brannen, Maryland AskUsNow! Volunteer

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


Grant Activities:


  • General Audiences:  Today’s 101.9, 105.7 The Fan, and Mix 106.5, approached the Statewide Coordinator of AskUsNow! about doing a radio interview during the holiday season.  The radio interview will be played in the first week of December.
  • 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 Calvert, Garrett, and Prince George’s County Public School students:  http://askusnow.info/staff/reports/chatlocation/fy18.
  • Social Media:
    • Facebook:  21 posts reached approximately 956 users.
    • Twitter: 76 tweets engaged approximately 8800 users.
    • Social media posts covered National History Day resources, National Novel Writing Month, and Job & Career Resources.  AskUsNow! also continued to locate and follow key social media accounts for schools and educators.


  • New Staff: 
    • Eight librarians were trained at the Catonsville Campus Library, Community College of Baltimore County. 
    • Five librarians were trained at the Frederick Douglass Library, University of Maryland, Eastern Shore.
  • Refresher: 
    • There were no refresher training sessions this month. 
    • Refresher training topics being considered for January-March 2017 include open access resources and virtual reference interview tips.
  • Great Evaluation Comment:  Even tho[ugh] I am already a provider... this [new staff] training session gives [me] a positive mental boost....

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

More News:

  • Becca Starr ended her role as the Support for Operation at Maryland AskUsNow!.  She accepted a new position at the Enoch Pratt Free Library.
  • Site visits took place at the Frederick County Public Libraries, University of Maryland, Eastern Shore’s Frederick Douglass Library, and the Worcester County Library.
  • Betsey Brannen (AskUsNow! Volunteer) completed her AskUsNow! internship hours.
  • A customer made us aware of how he learned about AskUsNow! from a book entitled Khan’s E-learning Tips by Badrul Khan:  https://linuslearning.com/product/khan-e-learning-tips/.


Submitted on 12/15/17 by PC; Revised and Updated on 1/10/18 by PC