Need a refresher on how to answer chat, emails, or texts in Ask a Librarian?

 
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Space is still available!

                      Friday, April 18, 10a – 12p ET 

  

 

  

Space is available in our brief refresher webinar, where previously-trained Ask a Librarian staff relearn the basics. This two-hour webinar is designed to help you brush-up on chat, email, and texting, and help you regain your footing in the Ask a Librarian software.
Check out our complete list of Ask a Librarian workshops, including our new Self-Paced program. Contact Virtual Reference Coordinator Traci Avet Hector at avett@tblc.org with questions on training, mentoring, or tips for success.

Ask a Librarian Mentoring Program

You’ve already attended training – but you just haven’t had much opportunity to practice or staff the chat reference desk… sound familiar?

Are you trying to staff chat now, but still feeling a little like a fish out of water?

Would you like someone to help you apply your knowledge and skills to the exciting world of chat reference?

 

The Ask a Librarian Mentoring Program can help.
Since 2009, the Ask a Librarian Mentoring Program has helped library staff apply their in-house knowledge to the virtual setting. From live, one-on-one guidance during actual patron chats to anytime-emails of reassurance or feedback and support, your mentor will work with you to meet your individual goals in chat reference on Ask a Librarian.

What is an Ask a Librarian Mentor?
Ask a Librarian Mentors are librarians, just like you, who have experience working with real patrons in live chat through Ask a Librarian. Your mentor is there to share his or her knowledge, experiences, and wisdom in conducting chat reference and using the Ask a Librarian software. Your mentor’s foremost goal is to help you – to encourage your comfort, growth, and achievement in a warm, supportive environment.
Who can beat that?!

What will I learn?
Your mentor will help you to navigate successfully through the software (such as pushing nifty Web pages to patrons), to feel more comfortable utilizing online resources that help you – and your patron – during chats, tips on building and maintaining patron rapport from their own personal experiences, and more.

How does it work?
We’ll find you your very own ‘seasoned pro’. Your Ask a Librarian Mentor can work with you in pretend-patron practice sessions to gently guide you toward a level of increased comfort and performance during chat. Your mentor will work with you to establish a plan of action that best fits your needs and schedule. From emails and phone calls to practice sessions and real-time assistance during actual patron chats, your mentor is there to help you succeed!

Where do I start?
Interested? Just fill out this form to become a mentee. This will be private – just between you & your mentor. What do you have to lose, but maybe a little anxiety or fluttering stomach? Virtual reference experience builds your professional growth and your experience portfolio, so take advantage of your peers’ generosity and increase your skill & comfort levels in Ask a Librarian.

Questions? Just contact Traci Avet Hector, Ask a Librarian Virtual Reference Coordinator, at avett@tblc.org.

June 2013 Exemplary Reference Awards

The Quality Assurance Workgroup is happy to award the following transcripts for the June 2013 Exemplary Reference Awards. Transcripts were awarded in three categories: Best Brief Chat, Best Detailed Chat, and Best Teaching Chat.

Katherine McCabe
Katherine McCabe

Exemplary Brief Chat: Katherine McCabe, Martin County Library System

Katherine first locates a library that has editing software and then goes the extra mile to give the patron the address as well as personalized directions. Great job Katherine!

 

 

 

Exemplary Detailed Chat: Cindy Dorfeld Bruckman, Alachua County Library District

Cindy does a great job of locating articles and resources on human right theories in Haitian government. She continued to pinpoint specific material throughout the chat. great job Cindy!

Wei Cen, Gulf Coast State College
Wei Cen, Gulf Coast State College

Exemplary Teaching Chat: Wei Cen , Gulf Coast State College Library

​Even though Wei and the student encountered a few setbacks, Wei was able to show the student how to use her school’s databases. Great display of patience and teaching skills, Wei. Good job.​

The three winning transcripts can be read at: https://info.askalibrarian.org/toolbox/june-2013-exemplary-reference-awards-transcripts/

 

 

 

 

Each month we receive numerous nominations for fantastic reference. Here are the other nominees.

Brief Chat:

Gregg Stevens, Tallahassee Community College
Kira, Ask a Librarian Staff
Phil H, Martin County
Tina P, Lake Wales
Susan S, Hodges University
Diana, Ask a Librarian Staff
Dawn B, Goldstein FSU
Joshua F, Orange County Library System
Alyse E, FAU
Abby S, FSU Libraries
Cat S, FSU Libraries
Jessica B, FSU Libraries
Sarah B, FSU Libraries
Sonja P, FSU Libraries
Dawn B, Goldstein FSU
Kaya vB, USF St. Petersburg

Detailed Chat:

Renee, Ask a Librarian Staff
Lena P, South Florida SC
Carolyn W, Alachua County –
Hadi S, Palm Beach State
Susan S, Hodges University
Jessica B, FSU Libraries
Sonja P, FSU Libraries
Jerry F, Hodges University
Marisa M, Hernando
Carlos F, Miami Dade College
Ingrid, Pasco Hernando CC
Kelly N, Tampa Hillsborough

Teaching Chat:

Kira, Ask a Librarian Staff
Theresa S, SCF
Ana, FMU
Susan A, USF
Hadi S, Palm Beach State
Susan S, Hodges University
Michelle D, FSU Libraries
Carlos F, Miami Dade College
Anastasia M, Goldstein FSU
Lena P, South Florida SC
Alyse E, FAU

Nominate: Show your statewide colleagues that you value the customer service they provide to your patrons and students with a nomination. You can nominate yourself or your co-workers sessions in the Ask a Librarian Toolbox at: https://info.askalibrarian.org/toolbox/exemplaryreference/nominatetranscript/ or when closing a live chat session.

THANK YOU!

A huge thanks to everyone for all their hard work on Ask a Librarian – without each of you, Ask a Librarian would not be a success.

April 2013 Exemplary Reference Awards

The Quality Assurance Workgroup is happy to award the following transcripts for the April 2013 Exemplary Reference Awards. Transcripts were awarded in three categories: Best Brief Chat, Best Detailed Chat, and Best Teaching Chat.

Brief Exemplary ChatJill Simser, Eastern Florida State College  

Jill quickly showed a student from another college how to access and search for items in the Opposing Viewpoints database. Very efficient! Patron was pleased and said ” thank you. You been a big help.”

Detailed Exemplary Chat: Norma Medina-Ortiz, Seminole County

Norma helped a patron retrieve articles regarding John Garcia’s research on taste aversion. Listed her search technique and even emailed him the article when the link wouldn’t work. Patron was please and said “Thank you for all your assistance, you’ve been a very big help”.

Teaching Exemplary Chat: Debora Stewart, Palm Beach Atlantic University

Debora handled an ethical question with ease and confident know how. She walked the student through the search process and how to look up full text, scholarly journals. The student was very thankful for the instruction she was given. Job well done Debora!

The three winning transcripts can be read at: https://info.askalibrarian.org/toolbox/april-2013-exemplary-reference-awards-transcripts/

Each month we receive numerous nominations for fantastic reference. Here are the other nominees.

Brief Chat:

Abby S, FSU Libraries
Al M, Alachua County
Amy-Jane M, Lee County
Bronwyn M, Ask a Librarian Staff
Cat S, FSU Libraries
Chad M, St Petersburg College
Tiffany S, FIU
Kaya vB, USF St. Petersburg
Sarah H, FIU
Sila L , FSU Libraries
Sonja P, FSU Libraries
Susan A, USF
Susan S, Hodges University
Tomiko K, Alachua County

Detailed Chat:

Abby S, FSU Libraries
Alyse E, FAU
Bronwyn M, Ask a Librarian Staff
Connie Holzinger, Lee County
Deborah K, Miami Dade College
Hadi S, Palm Beach State
Jerry F, Hodges University
Marni, Northwest FL State College
Matt, FSU
Mindy B, FSU Libraries
Sally Bissell, Lee County
Sila L, FSU Libraries
Sonja P, FSU Libraries
Susan S, Hodges University

Teaching Chat:

Connie Holzinger, Lee County
Greg S, NOVA
Jaime G, Ask a Librarian Staff
Justin D, Martin County
Kaya vB, USF St. Petersburg
Marni, Northwest FL State College
Matt B, FSU Libraries
Susan Livingston, South Fl State College
Rhonda T, Northwest FL State College
Sally Bissell, Lee County
Susan S, Hodges University
Ted C, FSU Libraries

Nominate: Show your statewide colleagues that you value the customer service they provide to your patrons and students with a nomination. You can nominate yourself or your co-workers sessions in the Ask a Librarian Toolbox at: https://info.askalibrarian.org/toolbox/exemplaryreference/nominatetranscript/ or when closing a live chat session.

THANK YOU!

A huge thanks to everyone for all their hard work on Ask a Librarian – without each of you, Ask a Librarian would not be a success.

Healthcare Update

Starting October 1, 2013, consumers in Florida will be able to choose new affordable health insurance options through a federally-facilitated Health Insurance Marketplace.

In the past few weeks, we have been hearing more and more about how public libraries will be involved in helping consumers apply through the new Marketplace. Although details are scarce but right now, there are several resources for libraries to help bring you up-to-date and answer a few of your questions:

  • Healthcare.gov – Primary tool for delivering information to Americans about their health coverage options. This site was updated at the end of June. For Spanish speaking consumers, CuidadoDeSalud.gov  has also been updated.
  • The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will partner with libraries to connect patrons with information resources and community partners who are trained to assist with enrollment. IMLS has provided a grant to WebJunction.org for this effort.
  • Navigators. These grant-funded individuals or organizations will be trained to help consumers, small businesses, and their employees as they look for health coverage options through the Marketplace, including completing eligibility and enrollment forms. The Navigators are required to be unbiased and their services are free to consumers. When open enrollment starts October 1, 2013, the Marketplace Help Center will assist in finding help for your patrons.
  • Call Center for Marketplace questions. Customer service representatives are available 24/7: 800.318.2596.
  • Online chat is also available 24/7. Look for the blue box on the lower right hand corner on most pages of the Healthcare.gov site. Customer service representatives will answer questions in online conversations.
  • Throughout July CMS is providing webinars on Health Insurance Marketplace 101.
  • Health Insurance Marketplace provides educational tools, including brochures, articles, training materials and presentations, and widgets. Materials are also available in Spanish.
  • MedlinePlus, administered by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, presents information on medicine and healthcare in easy-to-understand language. The Health Insurance page has links to information on the Affordable Care Act.

 

Basic Timeline:

 

JuneJulyAugustSeptemberOctober-March
Healthcare.govandCuidadoDeSalud.govupdatedConsumers canset up alogin onHealthcare.gov Grants awardedfor NavigatorsConsumers canfind where to goto get helpOpen Enrollment
HHS Call CenterOpens800.318.2596Call Center openfor Small Business

Be sure to subscribe to the Workforce Recovery Update to receive additional information on the Health Insurance Marketplace.

Pam Thompson, E-Government Consultant
Bureau of Library Development
Division of Library and Information Services
R.A.Gray Building
500 South Bronough Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0250
850.245.6633
pam.thompson@dos.myflorida.com

Questions about Ask a Librarian training opportunities? Contact Virtual Reference Coordinator Traci Avet Hector at avett@tblc.org.

OCLC Training Opportunity: Engaging with Patrons Online

OCLC: Engaging with Patrons Online
Friday, June 14 — 12:00 pm, Eastern (9:00 am, Pacific)

What makes a chat session good and what makes a chat session exceptional? Carla Pfahl, Coordinator of AskMN (Minnesota’s statewide virtual reference service), and Merrie Davidson, Social Sciences Librarian and fellow AskMN librarian at the University of St. Thomas, will look at how to conduct a reference interview and what makes an exceptional reference transaction. Register today!

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For information on Ask a Librarian training, please contact Virtual Reference Coordinator Traci Avet Hector at avett@tblc.org.

Participate in VR Research via Phone Interview!

Participate in VR Research via Phone Interview

Dear Virtual Reference Librarian:

Greetings! We are looking for people interested in taking part in an important study of virtual reference services (VRS). We are willing to pay you for your time.

We hope you will be interested in sharing your opinions and insights about live chat VRS in our grant-funded research project titled, “Cyber Synergy: Seeking Sustainability through Collaboration between Virtual Reference and Social Q&A Sites.” We need librarians willing to participate in a phone interview. Please access the following link to sign up for the survey:

http://bit.ly/cybersynergy

The phone interview will take approximately 45 minutes and participants will receive $30 in compensation. All responses will be kept strictly confidential.

Prior to the interview, we will need a signed consent form. When you respond to this email by responding to the above URL and stating that you are willing to participate, we will send you a one page consent form for you to download, sign, and fax back to us. More instructions about this will follow to confirm your participation.

Cyber Synergy will evaluate sustainability of VRS and explore collaborative models for subject expertise among librarians and other experts systems, such as Social Q&A sites. This study is funded by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Rutgers University, and OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc.

We, the principal investigators of Cyber Synergy, thank you for your interest in the study.

Marie L. Radford, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Rutgers University

Lynn Silipigni Connaway, Ph.D., Senior Research Scientist
OCLC, Inc.

Chirag Shah, Ph.D.
Rutgers University, Assistant Professor

More information can be obtained at the project website:

http://www.oclc.org/research/activities/synergy/default.htm

Questions?
Contact Alyssa Darden at dardena@oclc.org

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FEL Training from the State Library of Florida

This is just a friendly reminder that the State Library of Florida offers terrific on-demand and live webinar training opportunities (in-person by request) on Florida Electronic Library resources.

“The Florida Electronic Library—your gateway to superior electronic resources that offer access to comprehensive, accurate, and reliable information—offers a training program designed to meet the needs of all library staff. With its blended curriculum, you can take advantage of the training that best suits your learning style: on demand, live webinar, or on-site in your library.”

Register Today!

Check out these upcoming trainings:

The New Demographics Now: Sep 18, 2012 11:00 am
FEL Resources and the Common Core: Sep 19, 2012 8:30 am
Finding Online Resources For Library Programming: Sep 24, 2012 3:30 pm
FEL Homework Help Resources: Sep 25, 2012 12:00 pm
FEL Health Resources: Oct 1, 2012 1:00 pm
The New Demographics Now: Oct 17, 2012 1:00 pm

Hot Topics Webinar: Customer Service Excellence, or How to Win an Exemplary Reference Award

  

Hot Topics: Customer Service Excellence, or How to Win an Exemplary Reference Award 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012
2-3 pm ET

We all know the importance of customer service in reference, but the unique environment of chat reference sometimes presents a few unique challenges, too. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to ensure a helpful and efficient chat reference experience for you and your virtual patrons.
In this webinar, Susan Livingston of South Florida State College, who has won four Exemplary Reference Awards, will provide the tips and tricks she has developed for superior customer service. Pat Barbier of St. Petersburg College, co-chair of the Quality Assurance Workgroup, will provide valuable tips and insights from the QA perspective on how you can ensure excellent customer service for your patrons.
Let Susan and Pat give you all the tools you need to provide customer service excellence in the virtual reference environment. Register today!

Webinar: High Anxiety: Increasing your Comfort Level on the Statewide Desk

High Anxiety: Increasing your Comfort Level on the Statewide Desk
Wed., Aug. 22, 10-11 am ET

  • Does the idea of answering statewide chat questions make you feel hesitant and uncomfortable?
  • Do you feel a little like a fish out of water when you’re scheduled to cover the Collaborative or Academic Desk for your library?

If you feel anxiety while waiting to help statewide chat patrons, you are not alone. Even the most capable and confident of librarians can feel a reduced sense of comfort when answering collaborative chat questions on the statewide desk.

You bring a lot to the table. This webinar will offer the perspective you need to lasso the comfort you that you have in-house and draw that into the virtual reference environment.