CIL 2013 – New Face of Reference

17 May

New Face of Reference –

Shari Clayman (internet reference librarian) and Abbey Gerken (assistant library network coordinator) shared information about on how an ask-a-librarian service leverages the time and expertise of EPA librarians across the country to present a unified service to all EPA staff. They shared lessons learned during the last 3 years and future plans.
• Ask-a-Librarian (Online Reference Service)
o Patrons can……
 Live chat
 Submit a question
 View frequent questions (most used service by patrons)
• Includes 11 EPA libraries
• Service is staffed 8am – 8pm Monday to Thursday and 8am – 7pm Friday

David Stern shared information about workspace collaboration tools (, Google+,) and describes the use of a shared workspace for manipulating multiple media materials and the sharing of real-time workstation screens to understand and demonstrate more sophisticated search methods and to facilitate the mastery of more advanced tools and techniques. While increasing collaboration and interaction at a distance, remote control is also the next step in offering advanced instruction, assistance, and collaboration.
• is one of the sites mentioned during the session. David Stern shared his experience with this collaboration tool. Students could see and hear him as well as view the PowerPoint slides. They responded to his questions using the text chat function. Vyew is free for up to ten participants. It does not require a software download, nor do participants even need to register. He created a demonstration of Vyew – Vyew Intro Video on

Crystal Shiffert (reference librarian) shared information her partnership with a vendor (Boopsie to develop a mobile app for the Monroe County Library System.
Boopsie for Libraries –
• Different packages to fit every library
• Design your app with your branding and imaging
• Work on multi-devices
• Libraries can use it as a readers’ advisory tool
• Librarians are more mobile in the stacks.

Krista Schmidt (research & instruction librarian) and Joel Marchesoni (technical support analyst) shared information about their development of a tablet-based kiosk to extend reference services at the Western Carolina University Library.

The Issues:
Understaffed at the reference desk
Increasing Workload to existing reference staff
Low Productivity at the reference desk
Tool to Solve Issues:
The library purchased a computer tablet and the technical support staff created an app which works like a “help button”. The tablet-based app notifies the reference staff when a patron needs assistance at the reference desk. The app is a chat client (they used their existing chat service provider and just created a profile for the “help button”). During the slow time periods, reference staff can work away from the reference desk and still service patrons. Kiosk style reference desk is very popular during the slow desk time. – Speakers Information List



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