learning center

Talking about Information Literacy

Not too long ago, in the dark pre-Web and html days, libraries had a somewhat contained grasp of carefully selected sources around their desks.  These tools provided the reference librarians and staff with information from well-worn materials at their fingertips.  Finding "the answer" to questions, such as who won the World Series in 1978, the highest peak in the U.S., which refrigerator is the best on the market, or what Nikola Tesla invented were often organized in a Ready Reference collection, as well as available to check out through almanacs and encyclopedias.  Some materials floated over to the large Xerox machines as dimes were fed in and pages were copied.  Earnest librarians amazed patrons when they found reputable articles through the library's in-print journals and databases.

Freshening up Your Scripts

Initially, your personal scripts may have been set up by you as a new provider. If you find you haven't done much work on them after that, you're not alone! It may be time to revisit your scripts and see if they need a little spring cleaning.  You may want to update the language or re-organize them.

Overcoming Uncertainty: "Can I answer THIS?"

Our ultimate goal is to pick up our patrons as quickly as possible while providing excellent assistance.  A genuinely welcoming greeting, given in a matter of just a few seconds, sets the tone for what can be a small but significant adventure together into the world of information. Through our need to find excellent information and solutions, we creatively tax our brains and benefit from these active, intellectual pursuits.

The Chat Monitoring Tool

The online environment can be strangely isolating, yet amazingly active.  While settling in for your chat session, it's interesting and informative to gain a sense of who else is online and what types of questions are being asked at the time.  We can do this through the Chat Monitoring Tool.

Turn Off Your Music While Chatting

music notes

Do you listen to music while working?  Music can get you into a groove and help speed up (and liven up) repetitive tasks!

Our Special Library Partners are Open for Referrals!

You are one of the 200-300 librarians who actively staff Maryland AskUsNow!'s chat service. You’re part of a system that is made up of 38 partner libraries. Through your session(s), you help to cover AskUsNow! approximately 200 hours a week, all from computers like yours, and all over Maryland.

Statewide (Shared) Scripts

Have any suggestions on improving the current scripts.  Or creating new ones?  Please contact Paul (pchasen@prattlibrary.org).  Thanks!

In QuestionPoint chat, we have two types ("Scripts" and "URL Scripts") and three levels of each ("My," Institution's, and Shared) available to our librarians. 

Privacy and Librarians: What can we share with online customers about AskUsNow! Librarians?

Occasionally I come across chat transcripts where customers ask the following types of questions:

 

  1. Is MD Librarian John Smith available?  I lost my connection with him.
  2. Is MD Librarian John Smith available?  He helped me out the last time I was on chat.
  3. When are UMES librarians online?  Charles County librarians?  BCPL librarians?....

 

Searching the Full Text of Transcripts

Did you know you can search the full text of our chat transcripts? (WOO HOO!)

Here's how it works:

Searching

From the QuestionPoint homepage, click on Ask in the dropdown menu.You will now see the Search box has a drop-down menu next to it:

   

 

IM Transfer: You've Sent An IM to Another Librarian, But Never Receive a Response! Why?

The instant messaging (IM) and transfer feature on QuestionPoint have been around a long time, but isn't used as often as it could be.  Since we don't do it very often, the ability to remember what to do fades. Here are some pointers:

There are at least a couple of reasons a librarian may not be responding to your IM --

Syndicate content