News

Deadline for the Director’s Chair is quickly approaching.

Please remind your teens! The deadline for the Director’s Chair is quickly approaching. Videos and paperwork need to be submitted by Sunday, January 24th at 11:59pm.

What is The Director’s Chair?
The Director’s Chair is a video contest for Florida high school students. Create a 30-second video promoting Ask a Librarian for a chance to win some great prizes.

So…what exactly IS Ask a Librarian?
It’s a free online service that allows you to chat with a Florida librarian for instant help with homework, papers and general questions. (Want to learn more? Click here.)

Now that you know what Ask a Librarian is, go out and make a creative and entertaining 30-second video that tells the world just how wonderful Ask a Librarian is. Just submit it here before Jan. 24, 2010 (11:59 p.m.), and the grand prize could be yours.
Be funny! Be serious! Do a spoof! Do a dramedy! Do whatever you want! Just be creative and have fun.

Deadline for the Director’s Chair is coming soon!

Calling all Florida HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS! The deadline for The Director’s Chair is just two weeks away!

What is The Director’s Chair?

The Director’s Chair is a video contest for Florida high school students. Create a 30-second video promoting Ask a Librarian for a chance to win some great prizes.

So…what exactly IS Ask a Librarian?

It’s a free online service that allows you to chat with a Florida librarian for instant help with homework, papers and general questions. (Want to learn more? Click here.)

Now that you know what Ask a Librarian is, go out and make a creative and entertaining 30-second video that tells the world just how wonderful Ask a Librarian is. Just submit it here before Jan. 24, 2010 (11:59 p.m.), and the grand prize could be yours.

Be funny! Be serious! Do a spoof! Do a dramedy! Do whatever you want! Just be creative and have fun.

Ask a Librarian seeks judges for this year’s The Director’s Chair Contest

The Director’s Chair is a video contest where Florida high school students create 30-second videos promoting Ask a Librarian. Entrants submit their videos via Vimeo. An independent panel of judges will choose the top five finalists, and the public will vote for the Grand Prize winner.

Judging will take place on February 3rd via an online meeting at 1:30ET. You must be able to attend to be a judge.

Fill out this form to apply to be a member of the independent panel of judges.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

December 2009 Statistics

December was a quieter month as normal, but we still were busier than last year.   We had a 20% increase in chat sessions from last year!  With the new year, we expect the service to continue growing….mainly because of all your hard work!

A summary report is available – AAL Stat Report (december 09)

Here are the statistic reports for each library:

By County Dec 2009
Total Chat by Entry Point Dec
Email Monthly By Library Dec

If you need additional statistics, please let me know.

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.

October Exemplary Reference Winners

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

Katie Banks, Palm Harbor Library 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
Judi Tidwell, Broward College
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Judi doesn’t have access to this customer’s databases, but she doesn’t let this deter her from helping. Judi uses her own library resources to guide the customer on the other site. This works very well in this chat and Judi is able to guide the customer to very useful information.

Detailed Exemplary Chat
Katie Banks, Palm Harbor Library.
Katie B leaves no stone unturned as she uses several resources to locate a list of articles. The customer is very grateful, and there’s wonderful rapport in this chat.

Teaching Exemplary Chat
Diana Matthews, Santa Fe College
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Really a great chat! Diana gives several suggestions related to database search strategies. Good communication. Patron is pleased and admits “I believe you just saved me hours of searching ineffectively for a needle in the haystack”

This month, I would also like to spotlight a chat that exemplified the difference Ask a Librarian can make. Susan Livingston from South Florida Community College assisted a Croatian library school student. The student was unable to locate an article she needed for her studies and Susan helped her in the session and through follow-up arrange to receive the article through Interlibrary Loan. The student responded via follow-up email, “When I found your online service on internet, I just decided to try my luck but I wasn’t expecting any success. In my search for relevant documents on the topic of my seminar theme, I tried to get help from variety of online services. Most of the searches I took out of regular sources like databases of scientific journals brought me to a dead end. So believe me, I’m really delighted with effort you made in wish to help an anonymous colleague from far away country. And as I see, this wasn’t easy for you to do. You had made many steps to achieve this. And I really don’t know how I could ever thank you enough for doing this. Please give my thanks also to dr. Randy Paine.” Susan and her ILL librarian, Dr. Paine went beyond what is required- and by going the extra step truly made an impact and difference in someone’s life.

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
Candice Pinder, Miami-Dade Public Library System
Carlos Pedemonte, Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library System
Deirdre Toliad, Leon County
Diane Johnson, Nassau County Public Library System
Erica Head, Lee County Library System
Jaime Goldman, AaL Intern
Jessica McLuckie, Palm Harbor Library
Judi Tidwell, Broward College
Kelly Naglek, Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library System
Kimberly Reycraft, Florida Gulf Coast University Library
Michelle Howard, Pasco County Library System
Nora Quinlan, Nova Southeastern University
Richard Llewell, Nova Southeastern University
Sally Bissell, Lee County Library System
Steve M, Goldstein Library (Florida State University – College of Information)
Susan Smith, Hodges University
Tom Mueller, Citrus County Library System

Detailed Exemplary Chat
Beth King, Valencia Community College
Candice Pinder, Miami-Dade Public Library System
Catherine Hodges, Florida State College at Jacksonville
Christine Boatright, Lake City Community College
Heather Sostrom, Alachua County Library District
Kay Ralston, AaL Intern
Melissa Mohler, Bartow Public Library
Nola Pettit, University of Central Florida
Richard Llewell, Nova Southeastern University
RJ Rochan, University of Central Florida
Sandra Johnson, Bay County Public Library/Northwest Regional Library
Susan Livingston, South Florida Community College

Teaching Exemplary Chat
Candice Pinder, Miami-Dade Public Library System
Debora Stewart, Palm Beach Atlantic University
Diana Matthews, Santa Fe College
Guy Adkins, Jacksonville Public Library
Kay Ralston, AaL Intern
Kimberly Reycraf, Florida Gulf Coast University Library
Kristen Faulkner, Polk State College
Lena Phelps-Ellerker, South Florida Community College
Lisa Finch, Alachua County Library District
Margeaux Johnson, University of Florida
Marni Chidsey, Northwest Florida State College
Renee Patterson, AaL Intern
Susan Smith, Hodges University
Susan Smith, Hodges 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. I thank everyone for all their hard work on Ask a Librarian – without each of you, Ask a Librarian would not be a success.

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