statewide Ask a Librarian holiday closing schedule

Happy Holidays!Just a friendly reminder of the statewide Ask a Librarian closing schedule for December and January:

• Wednesday, December 21 (closing at 5 pm)
• Thursday, December 22 thru Monday, January 2 (Collaborative Desk closed – service reopens on Tuesday, January 3)
• Monday, January 16 (closed)

Note: These closings are for the statewide service, so your library is still free to staff local desk hours during those days.

As in previous years, the Academic Desk will remain closed throughout the month of December and the first week of January to accommodate library closings and availability. During this time, all staff normally scheduled to cover Academic should continue to check the Collaborative Desk box (rather than Academic) when logging in for their scheduled shifts.

Happy Holidays to our fantastic member libraries from all of us at TBLC!

July 2011 Exemplary Reference Awards

The Quality Assurance Workgroup is happy to award the following transcripts for the July 2011 Exemplary Reference Awards. Transcripts were awarded in three categories: Best Detailed Chat, Best Brief Chat, and Best Teaching Chat.

The three winning transcripts are at:

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: or when closing a live chat session.

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.

Brief Exemplary Chat:Jiame
Jiame Goldman , Ask a Librarian Staff  (Jiame is now a Reference Librarian at NOVA Southeastern University)
Jamie found excellent resources very quickly for a student who needed to find members of Congress and their party affiliations.

Detailed Exemplary Chat:
Christine Boatright, Florida Gateway College 
Christine helped a patron with trying to locate a law from the Florida Administrative Code and gave the patron the link to the section. When the patron needed more, Christine gave the patron a lead on who to contact to find out more about the law.

Teaching Exemplary Chat:
Dora Schilling, Lee County
This chat epitomizes an excellent teaching interaction online! Dora shows patience, first making sure that she was following what the student needed to understand about documented essays by sending useful websites that the student evaluated and found helpful. Then Dora moved on to helping the student find some suggestions for topics for an essay, and finally she left the student on the home databases doing searches. She completed the chat by asking the student if more help was needed and to return in the future.

Congratulations to our winners!

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

Brief Chat:

Larry C, UCF Library
Paula B, St. Pete College
Sandra J, Bay County
Paul McD,  University of Florida
Richard R., Martin County
Diana M,  Santa Fe College
Amy M,  Santa Rosa County
Yossi G,  Everglades University
Bronwyn M,  Ask a Librarian Staff
Susan S,  Hodges University
Kaya vB,  USF St. Petersburg
Lena P,  South Florida CC
Susan S,  Hodges University
Guy A,  Jacksonville PL

Detailed Chat:

Susan S,Hodges
Paula B, SPC
Matt T, USF
Marni, Northwest FL State College
Bronwyn M, Ask a Librarian Staff
Yossi G, Everglades University

Teaching Chat:

Nance L, Santa Fe College
Neil L, Broward College
Jennifer K, Fort Walton Beach
Eric, Florida Keyes C C
Phil H., Martin County
Marian, College of Central FL
Jan S, University of Florida
Susan W, Florida International University
Christine B, Florida Gateway College
Kaya vB, USF St. Petersburg
Susan S, Hodges University
Sharyn B, Tampa Hillsborough
Stephanie K, State College of Florida Manatee-Sarasota





Valencia is named nation’s top community college

Congratulations to AaL participating library Valencia College, who was named the nation’s best community college. They are the winner of the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence.  The Aspen Institute spent a year studying community colleges across the nation. Valencia was picked from a group of 1,200 colleges.

Valencia College News Valencia Named Top Community College in the Nation

Read more at the Orlando Sentinel – Valencia is named top community college







Hot Topics: OverDrive E-Books & Audiobooks Webinar Series

Introducing two new Hot Topics webinars on OverDrive… register for both today!

Hot Topics: E-Books! Putting OverDrive E-Books onto eReaders: A Guide For Library Staff

Wed., Jan. 11, 2012, 2-3 pm ET

Hot Topics: Audiobooks! Putting OverDrive Audiobooks onto Portable Players: A Guide For Library Staff

Wed., Jan. 18, 2012, 2-3 pm ET

Audiobooks and E-Books


OverDrive audiobooks & ebooks are popular with library patrons. But many of them have a hard time putting it all together: finding available e-books or audiobooks on the digital download site and then transferring them to their PC, e-reader, or listening devices. With information presented by TBLC’s own resident genius & System Administrator Al Carlson, these two webinars will equip public service staff of all library types with the skills they need to assist patrons at any stage of the process.



Topics include:

  • Finding immediately available audiobooks (Hot Topics: Audiobooks!) or e-books (Hot Topics: E-Books!) on an OverDrive site, installing Adobe Digital Editions and creating an Adobe identity.
  • Downloading audiobooks (Hot Topics: Audiobooks!) or e-books (Hot Topics: E-Books!) to a PC, and transferring (sideloading) them to e-readers/listening devices.
  • Direct downloads to smart phones, iPads, and other web-enabled devices.

Register for both webinars today!

Seeking Synchronicity Revelations and Recommendations for Virtual Reference (OCLC research report webinar) and AaL facilitated discussion

OCLC Research in partnership with Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey pulled over five years of virtual reference research into a summary with specific and actionable suggestions in Seeking Synchronicity: Revelations and Recommendations for Virtual Reference.

Seeking Synchronicity: Revelations and Recommendations for Virtual Reference

an OCLC research report webinar

DATE: January 31, 2012

TIME: 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm  (EST)

LOCATION: OCLC’s Online Classroom


an Ask a Librarian facilitated conversation

DATE: February 1, 2012

TIME: 10:00 am – 11:00 am  (EST)

LOCATION: TBLC’s Online Classroom

On January 31, 2012 from 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. (EST), co-authors Lynn Silipigni Connaway (OCLC Research) and Marie L Radford (Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey) will review the report’s findings and address topics such as:

·         The exaggerated death of ready reference
·         The importance of query clarification in Virtual Reference
·         Boosting accuracy and building better relationships in Virtual Reference
·         Learning from Virtual Reference transcripts
·         Convenience as a “hook” to draw users to Virtual Reference
·         Generational differences in how people perceive reference interactions and determine success
·         The need for more and improved marketing of Virtual Reference

For more information about the Seeking Synchronicity: Revelations and Recommendations for Virtual Reference report click here.

To register with OCLC for the January 31st webinar click here.

After this OCLC-sponsored webinar, participants are invited to return on Wednesday, February 1, 2012 from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. when Ask-a-Librarian staff facilitates a continuing discussion among Florida librarians.  For more information about the discussion session and to register click here.