December 2009 Exemplary Reference Awards

The Quality Assurance Workgroup has been hard at work and has awarded the following transcripts for December 2009 Exemplary Reference Awards of the Month. Transcripts were awarded in three categories: Best Detailed Chat, Best Brief Chat, and Best Teaching Chat.

Alicia Ellison, Hillsborough Community College will receive a gift card to Amazon.com for her Exemplary Detailed Chat and all three winners will receive a certificate at a presentation at this next year’s annual Florida Library Association Conference. The Ask a Librarian’s User Forum is set for Apr 7th at 1:30.

Exemplary Brief Chat: Melissa Mohler, Bartow Public Library

Melissa kept the patron constantly engaged in the chat conversation and it paid off as the patron exclaimed “that works thank you so much saved my life lol” That’s a testimonial if I ever heard one. Thanks Kristen!

Exemplary Detailed Chat: Alicia Ellison, Hillsborough Community College

The customer had homework questions requiring her to determine which of multiple choices were the correct call numbers for given book titles. I pushed web sites that describe the “anatomy of a call number” and LC and Dewey subject headings…plus guided her through a bit of deduction to conclude which were the correct numbers. Also gave a brief “lesson” on which libraries use which system…and managed to communicate with Traci Avet while I had the customer online (thanks, Traci) to answer a question about what would remain on the customer’s computer after the session ended. The transaction required prior knowledge of these sites (http://tinyurl.com/yd3h3pbhttp://tinyurl.com/6ep5nbhttp://www.ipl.org/div/aplus/lc_class.htm ) … plus quick reflexes to keep the customer engaged while getting the procedural answer and pasting it into the session.

Exemplary Teaching Chat: Christine Driver, University of Florida

Step by step just what the student needed. Christine showed determination and was willing to troubleshoot using Screenshare to help a student.

Selecting the top transcript in each category can often be a hard process with so many terrific sessions to choose from. Each month, I feel the QA group has to make harder and harder choices as the transcripts seem to get better and better. Below are the other people who were nominated this month by themselves, co-workers or the quality assurance workgroup.

Brief Exemplary Chat
Janet Bergeron, Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library System
Sarah Cisse, Nova Southeastern University
Warren French, Orange County Library System
Sandra Lee Hawes, Saint Leo University, Cannon Memorial Library
Kathleen Hensman, Delray Beach Public Library
Kristen J. Faulkner, Polk State College
Megan Smith Heafy, Nova Southeastern University
Ann Lindell, University of Florida
Bianca Rodriguez, Valencia Community College
Debora Stewart, Palm Beach Atlantic University

Detailed Exemplary Chat
Larry Cooperman, Everglades University
Laura Cifelli, Lee County Library System
Carla Clark, Miami Dade College
Meg Hawkin, State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota
Amy J, Osceola Library System
Chad Mairn, St Petersburg College
Nora Quinlan, Nova Southeastern University
Beth R, Florida State College, School of Information
Kay Ralston, Ask a Librarian Intern
Debora Stewart, Palm Beach Atlantic University
Margaret W, Florida State College, School of Information

Teaching Exemplary Chat
Paula Bagwell, St Petersburg College
Debra Bogart, Keiser University
Kelli Byrd, Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library System
Kira Smith, Ask a Librarian Intern

Don’t forget to nominate yourself or your co-workers sessions in the Ask a Librarian Toolbox at: http://info.askalibrarian.org or when closing a live chat session.

Congratulations to all those nominated this month. I thank everyone for all their hard work on Ask a Librarian – without each of you, Ask a Librarian would not be a success.

Ask a Librarian announces winners of high school video contest

Palm Beach County continues to dominate in statewide library video contest

On March 1, 2010, Ask a Librarian announced the winner’s of its 3rd annual Director’s Chair Contest, a contest in which Florida high school students created commercials to promote Ask a Librarian. Although the contest was statewide, all three winners came from the School District of Palm Beach County for the second year in a row.

Grand Prize Winner:
“I want…Ask a Librarian” Director Lauren Rautenkranz, from Park Vista High School in Lake Worth

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Second Place Winner:
“Even Isaac Asks a Librarian” by Director Michael Roy, from Seminole Ridge Community High School in Loxahatchee

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Third Place Winner:
“Ask a Librarian, Say What?” by Markella Haynes, Park Vista High School in Lake Worth

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A panel of judges narrowed all the entries down to five finalists, and the public determined the three winners by voting online. Ask a Librarian is a free online service that allows patrons to chat with a librarian for help with homework or general questions.

Visit www.askalibrarian.org/thedirectorschair to see the winners’ videos. Visit www.askalibrarian.org for more information about the Ask a Librarian service.
For details on how to embed or get a copy of these videos, please contact me (Diana).

Ask a Librarian Day Recap!

What a success! Yesterday, Ask a Librarian assisted 331 users in one day. This is a 35% increase from our normal Tuesday average of 244 sessions.

Yesterday was Ask a Librarian Day and librarians from across the state wore Ask a Librarian t-shirts and pins, created displays, baked some yummy treats and overall- spread the message!

Ask a Librarian is:

• Live help you’re not in our library, visit askalibrarian.org (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.

I am currently gathering stories, pictures and baked goods () from yesterday! If you have not already, please send them to me as soon as possible. I will post everything I receive!

Remember, the key to the success is the talking about the service to your co-workers and users. Please keep this up! The idea behind AAL Day is – WOMM. WOMM is Word of Mouth Marketing. We are going to continue trying to encourage you to use WOMM at your library especially through the month of March. Next week, we will be kicking off a month of WOMM related activities to help keep AAL in the forefront so get ready for awards, challenges and some fun facts about the service.

Today is Ask a Librarian Day!

How are you celebrating and getting the word out?

Jacksonville Public Library made the newspaper –  (check out Advisory Committee Member & SMS Taskforce Member – Michael Shell)
* Sarasota County created posters – see the series by clicking on the poster.
* Palm Beach County School District wrote a blog entry
* The State Library of Florida has Ask a Librarian as their current status on Facebook
* Alachua County has Ask a Librarian as the main ad on their front page

Remember the goal is to spread the word about the service. There are 5 main points everyone should know:
• If you ever need help when you’re not in our library, visit askalibrarian.org (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.

    Send us your pictures and stories!!

Don’t forget! TOMORROW IS ASK A LIBRARIAN DAY!!!!

Don’t forget! TOMORROW IS ASK A LIBRARIAN DAY!!!!

Get your t-shirts on, your buttons on and your cameras out! Tomorrow is Ask a Librarian Day.

Ask a Librarian is a day of focused marketing on Ask a Librarian within your library! Ask Promote the service to both your customers and to other staff members who might not be aware of the great service.
Every person (from part-time student assistants to your director) should be able to talk about the service.

There are 5 main points everyone should know:
• If you ever need help when you’re not in our library, visit askalibrarian.org (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.

How can you promote Ask a Librarian Day in your library? Here are some ideas from last year and new ones from Traci and I:
• Dust off your Ask a Librarian t-shirt from last year and wear it around the library and town.
• Create a booth or display within the library
• Hold a raffle for students around the service
• Handout bookmarks at checkout
• Bake! Ask a Librarian Staff decorated cupcakes to raise awareness of the service…. Your co-workers will appreciate every word…err..bite!
• Most importantly, Talk about it! Share positive stories from your time on the desk and let your user’s know the service is available.
Let us know what you are planning and please send up pictures and status reports as Ask a Librarian Day unfolds at your library!!
A press release is here- http://askalibrarian.org/blog/?p=227

Ask a Librarian Day – February 23rd! Celebrate at Your Library

Ask a Librarian Day is just under a week away. On Tuesday, February 23rd, we are promoting Ask a Librarian in a serious way!

To prepare for AAL Day: We sent out a press release for the event, read the release here. Also, you should of received buttons from us to wear (if you have not, please let me know, we have a few left).

Ask a Librarian Day is a day to focus on Ask a Librarian within your library. Promote the service to both your customers and to other staff members who might not be aware of the great service.

Every person (from part-time student assistants to your director) should be able to talk about the service.
There are 5 main points everyone should know:

• If you ever need help when you’re not in our library, visit askalibrarian.org (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.

How can you promote Ask a Librarian Day in your library? Here are some ideas from last year and new ones from Traci and I:
• Dust off your Ask a Librarian t-shirt from last year and wear it around the library and town.
• Create a booth or display within the library
• Hold a raffle for students around the service
• Handout bookmarks at checkout
• Bake! Ask a Librarian Staff decorated cupcakes to raise awareness of the service…. Your co-workers will appreciate every word…err..bite!
• Refresh and put out Ask a Librarian Marketing Materials everywhere you can inside and outside of the library. (order more here)
• Most importantly, Talk about it! Share positive stories from your time on the desk and let your user’s know the service is available.

Let us know what you are planning and please send up pictures and status reports as Ask a Librarian Day unfolds at your library!! We have pictures from last year at – http://info.askalibrarian.org/aal_day2009.asp!

Ask a Librarian Day Press Release

News Release

For Immediate Release
Contact: Diana Silveira (813)622-8252 ext 234

Librarians statewide to celebrate Ask a Librarian Day

Are you having trouble finding out, who invented the stethoscope? Do you want to know, who owns the apartment building on 49th street? Are you sitting at your computer frustrated trying to figure out where to start on your big research project? Live expert help is just a click away with Ask a Librarian. Ask a Librarian (www.askalibrarian.org) is FREE online service for all Floridians.

With Ask a Librarian, you are connected to a librarian who will answer your question right when you need assistance most. It’s easy to use, just go to www.askalibrarian.org and ask your question, a Florida librarian will assist you. Ask a Librarian is a collaborative program by libraries throughout Florida and will provide you with accurate answers utilizing your state and local resources.

“Ask a Librarian is a tremendous resource for students and anyone with a research need. It makes expert librarians available to any Florida resident. Ask a question and within minutes an actual person is helping you. It’s a great feeling to connect with a skilled supportive person and know you are not lost amid a million search results” according to Ask a Librarian Manager, Diana Silveira.

Librarians all over Florida will celebrate Ask a Librarian Day on Feb. 23 to bring awareness to the free online reference service that connects Floridians with librarians for help with homework or general questions.

Librarians at over 106 libraries around Florida will don “Askalibrarian.org” t-shirts and pins and will talk about the valuable service with library customers. They hope to inform people about Ask a Librarian’s benefits so that everyone can take full advantage of this user-friendly service.

Ask a Librarian is available live from 10 a.m. to midnight Sunday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 24/7 for email assistance. Visit www.askalibrarian.org for more information or to ask a librarian a question.

Pictures from last year’s event and more information about the service are available at: http://info.askalibrarian.org/aal_day.asp

Ask a Librarian is managed by the Tampa Bay Library Consortium (TBLC), and is funded as part of the Florida Electronic Library (www.flelibrary.org) by a Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant.

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Don’t Forget to Vote for your Favorite PSA in the Director’s Chair!!

Have you voted? The early results show it will be a close one! The videos are running neck and neck for first place so make sure you vote for your favorite PSA today!

Time is running out!!! Please spread the word –
It’s time for the public to choose the winner of The Director’s Chair, a contest in which Florida high school students submitted commercials to promote Ask a Librarian. A panel of judges selected the top five videos from all of the entries, and now the public will choose the winner by voting for their favorite video by Feb. 20, 2010.

Visit www.askalibrarian.org/thedirectorschair to cast your vote for the following videos:
• “The Ask a Librarian Alien” by Jack, Inlet grove High School (Riviera Beach)
• “I Want…Ask a Librarian” by Lauren, Park Vista High School (Lake Worth)
• “Ask a Librarian, Say What?” by Markella, Park Vista High School (Lake Worth)
• “Even Isaac Ask a Librarian!” by Michael, Seminole Ridge Community High School (Loxahatchee)
• “This Book Can Talk” by Shantel, Inlet grove High School (Riviera Beach)