Ask a Librarian March Madness Month

Where each day brings a surprising fact, a fun activity, or an Ask a Librarian award … and a chance to brag about our incredible services!


If you’ve ever worked evenings or weekends on Ask a Librarian, you’ve probably seen them.  They work all those slots we’ve yet to bribe a library system into covering (although we continue to try).  High and low, they traverse the waters of the Ask a Librarian queue with their reference prowess, searching for half-suspecting victims in need of help.  They are the Virtual Reference Providers of the (mostly) evening and weekend hours, and their chats are always stellar.  Their combined experience is fantastical:  the four of them covered 206 hours in February alone.  They’re spread out across Florida, and they surely dream about KnowledgeBase entries.  We like them an awful lot.  They are the Ask a Librarian Interns.

Meet the Interns

Renee Patterson:

I’m an avid reader, computer geek and information junkie; and love that my career as a Librarian allows me to indulge all three.  A native Floridian and former farm girl, I still plant a kitchen garden and like to feed the birds and stray animals that come to visit. I enjoy adventure travel, from ziplining through the rain forests of Costa Rica to zorbing in New Zealand, and am happily planning my next vacation.


Kay Ralston:

I grew up in South Florida, and raised my three children here; I value the library, as a “place” which promotes education, and a sense of community; it’s one of the best  resources available to people, when seeking information to meet their needs, throughout the various stages of life, as it has been for me and my family.  Fun facts: some of my favorite things are music, baseball, tea with lemonade (a.k.a., an Arnold Palmer), and summertime.

Jaime Goldman:

I started with AaL in July of 2008 while a library school student, and am a recent MSLIS graduate from FSU working as an administrative assistant at the Alvin Sherman Library at NSU.  I also have a background in Marine Science and enjoy SCUBA diving and marine animal rescue in my spare time.  AaL staffing tip: Personalized Scripts; I always add to my “Response Libraries” in the Agents Portal.

Kira Smith:

I’m Kira Smith, a recent USF library school grad.  My best staffing tip is to read transcripts.  I learn so much from other librarians’ chats from how to do an exemplary reference interview to how to find a particular piece of information to what kind of questions have been coming through in earlier shifts.

Next time you see them in the Agent Console, be sure to say hello!

Word of Mouth Marketing (WOMM) – Spread the Word!
Inform your patrons with these talking points:
·         For live help when you’re not in our library, visit (or find the link on our library’s website).
·         You can use Ask a Librarian for free.
·         Ask a Librarian is a website where you can go to get your questions answered by a real librarian.
·         Ask a Librarian is open until midnight ET Sunday through Thursday and until 5 p.m. ET Friday and Saturday.
·         If Ask a Librarian isn’t open for chat, you can always email your question to us, and we’ll get back to you within 24 hours.