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!!

New Ask a Librarian Blog

If you are reading this, you have already noticed…Ask a Librarian has a new blog at a new URL.   Why?  Over Christmas break, the Ask a Librarian blog was seriously hacked and was left beyond repair.      So, we needed a start fresh.   With a fresh start, we took the opportunity to move the blog to http://www.askalibrarian.org/blog so it was in a more logical place on our servers.

Please note… if you are looking for an older post, it is no longer available.  However if you email Diana or Traci, we will get you the information you need.

We thank you for your patience and understanding.

September Exemplary Reference Awards

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

Kira Smith, Ask a Librarian Intern 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.

Brief Exemplary Chat
Matthew Moyer, Jacksonville Public Library

Matthew quickly and efficiently located authoritative website resources on the patron’s topic—Angel Island Poems and tibishi writing. These poems, written by Chinese immigrants, were found on the walls of the Angel Island detention center between 1910 and 1930. Tibishi writing (literally “writing on the wall”) is a form of travel writing with a history of political dissent. I visited Matthew’s resources and found the patron’s topic to be quite interesting.

Detailed Exemplary Chat
Kira Smith, Ask a Librarian Intern

Kira conducted an excellent reference interview, first gathering general, then detailed information about the student’s topic. Using this information, Kira was able to offer the student some good search terms. Kira accessed the UCF Library website and compiled a list of education and career journals that she presented to the student. Kira told the student the ERIC database used the exact search term as the student’s topic and additionally found a related search term in the thesaurus. The student told Kira “you are an angel” and “WOW. You give a wealth of info”. The student confided that English was not her first language. She left the chat with confidence that she will do great thanks to Kira’s assistance. In closing, Kira told the student to “please come back if you need more assistance. We’re here until midnight”. 🙂

Teaching Exemplary Chat
Katie Tyler, Winter Park Public Library

Katie patiently guided a new online student to peer reviewed articles and how to cite APA. She did a fantastic job working with the student and explaining to her how to do each step within her library’s resources. Additionally, she referred the student back to their own university librarian or Ask a Librarian for additional help.

Selecting the top transcript in each category can often be a hard process with so many terrific sessions to choose from. Below are the other people who were nominated this month by themselves, co-workers or the quality assurance workgroup.

Brief Exemplary Chat:
Louie Alfano, Parkland Library
Christine Boatright, Lake City Community College
Ursula Bouron, Broward College
Andrea Carter, Florida Gulf Coast University Library
Carrie Gits, Nova Southeastern University
Catherine Katz, Valencia Community College
Margeaux Johnson, University of Florida
Rachel Mulvihill, University of Central Florida
Lena Phelps-Ellerker, South Florida Community College
Laura Ramirez, Nova Southeastern University
Susan Smith, Hodges University
Eric Soriano, Jacksonville Public Library
Laura Welch, AaL Intern

Detailed Exemplary Chat:
Ursula Bouron, Broward College
Kristin Corbin, Suwannee River Regional Library
Britta Gregor, West Palm Beach Public Library
Ann Hurley, Volusia County Public Library
Neil Linger, Broward College
Paula McCahon, Marion County Public Library
Laniece Miller, Goldstein Library
Renee Patterson, AaL Intern
Rachel Mulvihill, University of Central Florida
Susan Smith, Hodges University
Laura Welch, AaL Intern

Teaching Exemplary Chat:
Paula Bagwell, St. Petersburg College
Matthew Bodie, St. Petersburg College
Marni Chidsey, Northwest Florida State College
Jaime Goldman, AaL Intern
Jennifer Gregor, St. Petersburg College
Dan Hood, Indian River State College
Jenna Miller, Santa Fe College
Renee Patterson, Ask a Librarian Intern
Richard Reilly, Martin County Library System
RJ Rochan, University of Central Florida

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

June Exemplary Reference Awards

The Quality Assurance Workgroup has been hard at work and has awarded the following transcripts for June 2009 Exemplary Reference Awards of the Month. Transcripts were awarded in three categories: Best Detailed Chat, Best Brief Chat, and Best Teaching Chat.
Paul Wetmore, Tampa Hillsborough Public Library System will receive a gift card to Amazon.com for his Exemplary Detailed Chat and all three winners will receive a certificate at a presentation at this next year’s annual Florida Library Association Conference.


Brief Exemplary Chat
Geraldine Collins, Florida Gulf Coast University.

Geraldine nailed this for the patron right away while continuing a friendly and interested chat going. Kudos Geraldine!

Detailed Exemplary Chat
Paul Wetmore, Tampa Hillsborough Public Library System.
Paul helped a student select materials for a research paper on Latin influence on the English Language. Asked clarifying questions, good rapport. Patron was pleased with the service and remarked “My teacher told us that the most helpful people we will ever know when it comes to education and school work would be a librarian. He is right.”

Teaching Exemplary Chat
Stacy Allsop, Nova Southeastern University.

Stacy gave excellent tips and directions to a student who had a complex research project. Stacy was able to direct the student to a helpful database and then to explain how to use the thesaurus for better search results. Excellent job of hands on teaching of a student in the use of a specialized database! The student was very pleased and Stacy offered to make certain the transcript would be available for the student’s future reference. Pat nomination.

Selecting the top transcript in each category can often be a hard process with so many terrific sessions to choose from. Below are the other people who were nominated this month by themselves, co-workers or the quality assurance workgroup.

Brief Exemplary Chat:
• Laura Baas, State Library of Florida
• Matthew Buckley, Nova Southeastern University
• Bebe Chang, Broward County Library
• Salena Coller, American InterContinental University
• Larry Cooperman, Everglades University
• Jaime Goldman, Ask a Librarian Intern
• Marylou Galvin, Broward County Library
• Cindy Jewett, Keiser University
• Carlos Morejon, Miami-Dade Public Library System
• Carlos Pedemonte, Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library System
• Susan Smith, Hodges University
• Jane Tracey, Orange County Public Library
• Fawn Van Allen, West Palm Beach Public Library
• Peter Washkevich, St. Johns County Public Library
• Laura Welch, Ask a Librarian Intern

Detailed Exemplary Chat:
• Owen Adams, Northwest Florida State College
• Giselle Alonso, Miami-Dade Public Library System
• Cathy B., Goldstein Library (FSU- School of Information)
• Ustadza Ely, Nova Southeastern University
• Jaime Goldman, Ask a Librarian Intern
• Chip Halvorsen, Alachua County Library District
• Carol Maksian, Florida Gulf Coast University Library
• Carlos Pedemonte, Tampa Hillsborough Public Library
• Quiana Vidal, Marion County Public Library System

Teaching Exemplary Chat:
• Matthew Buckley, Nova Southeastern University
• Marylou Galvin, Broward County Library
• Sandra Lee Hawes, Saint Leo University
• Kira Smith, Ask a Librarian Intern
• Debora Stewart, Palm Beach Atlantic University

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

Congratulations to all those nominated this month.