Virtual Reference Services

Laura Robbins poperol at GMAIL.COM
Thu Jan 30 18:39:10 EST 2014

See answers below.


On Jan 30, 2014, at 3:59 PM, "Lindsey Bray (LIB)" <lbray at>

Hi everyone,

We're looking at overhauling how we organize our virtual reference service.
Currently, we use LibAnswers and have a small team of librarians answering
the questions. If you currently use a virtual reference service, could you
answer the following questions?

What service do you use and why?

We use libraryh3lp.  Good service and tons of help.

Is your service asynchronous (delayed response) or synchronous (chat)?

We offer chat and text messaging during open hours and email after hours.

How do you monitor answer quality?

The librarian over reference services, me, goes through all the transcripts
once a semester to review the service.  This leads to a general review of
what was missed in answers, new questions to add to our FAQ, and a minor
headache for me. :)

How do you schedule staff time on the virtual reference service?

Chat is scheduled as part of reference desk hours.  There's usually one
librarian scheduled for reference every hour we're open.  We do close chat
1/2 before closing.  And, I work chat backup whenever I can.

How many staff do you have answering questions?

We have 4 ft reference librarians and 3 part-time.  We are all scheduled
for separate shifts, so only one at a time.


 Lindsey Bray  |  Digital Services Specialist

W. Dale Clark
*Main Library *215 S. 15th St.  |  Omaha, NE 68102
lbray at  |  402.444.4843

Follow OPL on Twitter <!/OmahaLibrary> &

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