** Note: If you didn’t receive this in email format earlier today, please email Traci at avett@tblc.org

  March Madness Month

A month of surprising facts, informative highlights, and fun activities… all for the chance to brag about our incredible services!


As you’ve heard us brag about time and again, Ask a Librarian is open 84 hours every week. Nice, isn’t it?  That 84-per-week figure comes from Ask a Librarian’s normal business hours of Sunday-Thursday, 10 am to midnight, and Friday-Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm ET. 

That’s impressive, sure. But things get even more exciting as you reconsider those numbers in further detail. For example, let’s take, say, 1 to 2 pm – this is counted as one Ask a Librarian business hour, or one hour we’re “open”. However, there are multiple libraries that hour… 3 on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and even 5 on Wednesdays, just on the Collaborative Desk alone. And during the week, not only is the Collaborative Desk open and staffed by multiple libraries – between 10-4 there is also the Academic Desk. 

Are you with me so far?  This means that, just from 1-2 pm on Wednesdays alone, there are at least 9 libraries staffing the live desk (chat and text messaging) on average. That is not counting any of the numerous librarians who login to cover their own local desks – we’re still just talking about one hour, one day, statewide. That means at least 9 librarians are ready and able to help during just one hour of the total 84. The report in the email for this issue (if you didn’t receive it this morning, let me know!) shows the total number of hours staffed for Academic and Collaborative in black, just for the current week. Local hours are per-system and not included there. (The red hours are those needing help; hint, hint.) So while we are open that impressive 84 hours per week, there were 384 librarians ready and willing to help your library users on the statewide desks this week alone. One week. How about 2 weeks?  A month?  Last year there were 17,097 shifts on the state-wide schedule – not including “unassigned/help needed” shifts, not including local hours. 17,097!  You have to admit, that kind of system-level cooperation is a pretty neat thing.

 He Said, She Said: Excerpts from AaL Ambassador Challenge Participants

  “We promoted Ask a Librarian by highlighting Ask a Librarian bookmarks and stickers.  The staff was shown how Ask a Librarian works from the “back side”.  All staff donned AAL lanyards for the event. [My Ambassador learned] how the questions are answered, and the focus on consistency.”  
– Marie Miller, The Art Institute of Tampa


  When speaking to users, remember these important talking points:
• If you ever need help when you’re not in our library, visit www.askalibrarian.org (or find the link on our library’s website).
•  Ask a Librarian is a website where you can go to get your questions answered by a real librarian.
•  Ask a Librarian is open for live chat and texting until midnight ET Sunday through Thursday, and until 5 p.m. ET Friday and Saturday.
•  You can use Ask a Librarian for free.
•  If Ask a Librarian isn’t open for chat or texting, you can always email your question, and your library’s staff will get back to you within 24 hours.