“LibStats” – A Simple Way for Library Reference & Service Desks to Track Statistics…04.15.09

15 04 2009


LibStats is “A simple web-based app for tracking library reference statistics”

“Libstats provides a simple way for library reference & service desks to track statistics on the number of questions asked, as well as build a simple knowledge base.

Libstats requires PHP and Pear::DB. It is, by far, easiest to run via Apache…”


QuestionPoint “Virtual Reference” Service…04.15.09

15 04 2009


Though not new, I wanted to investigae further “virtual reference” services. OCLC’s “virtual reference” service, QuestionPoint, is described as follows:

QuestionPoint is a unique virtual reference service, supported by global network of cooperating libraries worldwide, as well as an infrastructure of software tools and communications. QuestionPoint is also a source of unique centralized knowledge resources built by a collaborative network of member libraries.

QuestionPoint reference management service provides libraries with tools to interact with users in multiple ways, using both chat and email. The Web-based chat tool with co-browsing capability, coupled with the email reference component, enable seamless integration of chat, follow up and referral, as well as one-stop reporting tools for all types of reference services. In addition, libraries may opt to participate in the 24/7 Reference Cooperative to provide live around-the-clock reference service to their community…”

You can see a Flash demo here.

U.S. Government to Launch Data.Gov in May…04.06.09

6 04 2009





FREE Archived Webinar “Setting Boundaries with Library Patrons”…03.16.09

16 03 2009


Through an interest in finding benchmark behavior in dealing with library patrons, I came across a FREE archived webinar titled Setting Boundaries with Library Patrons worth reviewing from 2008 on InfoPeople which states:

“… will help participants:

  • Learn how using the four cornerstones of setting boundaries makes working with the public 100% easier
  • Learn to disengage from really nice patrons who want a friend without causing a scene or hurting their feelings
  • Learn where to invest your energy to make your library run more smoothly
  • Learn to develop the culture your library needs to meet the needs of all your patrons
  • Learn a verbal formula for dealing with challenging, demanding, or overexcited patrons
  • Learn five rules that will make your staff more efficient and your library a more pleasant place to work…”


Speaker: Edmond Otis
Edmond Otis
  • Speaker’s slides
  • Speaker’s handouts
    • The Rules – Word [16kb] – Acrobat [41kb]
    • The Four Cornerstones – Word [15kb] – Acrobat [37kb]
    © 2009 Infopeople Project

Library Reference Service Using Skype…03.13.09

13 03 2009


The SLA-IT blog‘s post today Using Skype in reference services is worth reviewing:

The University of Ohio Libraries has installed a kiosk in the lobby of its Alden Library for the usual quick info requests (hours, staff, maps). But the kiosk also sports a webcam and a link to Skype in order to provide instant reference with a live librarian. Chad Boeninger explains the system in a video on his blog. The system is not heavily used but it’s an interesting concept.

An article, refered to in the video, has also been written on the topic:

Booth, Char (2008). Developing Skype-Based Reference Services. Internet Reference Services Quarterly, 13 (2), 147-165. Retrieved March 12, 2009, from http://www.informaworld.com/10.1080/10875300802103684

Internet voice and video calling have demonstrated a dramatic rise in quality in the past several years and have quickly become communication technologies with a disruptive impact on society. Librarians, who regularly adopt such technologies in outreach and public services, should evaluate Web-calling programs as potential sources of innovative reference programming. This article describes the development of Skype video and Internet telephony pilot reference services at the Ohio University Libraries and considers the utility of Skype and VoIP in a library setting.”

From the library itself:

Skype a Librarian

“You can now ask us a question via Skype, the free internet calling service. You can call, videocall, or message us for free using your Skype account – just add ohiolibref, our Skype ID, to your contact list to begin. This service is open whenever the Learning Commons is – 24/5 M-F and long weekend hours.

If you’re in Alden Library you can also get help from a video kiosk on the 4th floor. We’re currently offering this service Monday-Friday 9-5, but if you’d like us to expand these hours please let us know.

Skype ID: ohiolibref

Hours: All Hours that the Learning Commons is Open!!!

New to Skype? Download a free account to begin.”

“New Concepts in Digital Reference”…02.25.09

25 02 2009

Virtual Dave (R.David Lankes), who is involved with Reference Extract, points out what appears to be a very interesting, 64 pg. lecture titled New Concepts in Digital Reference that is now available (Synthesis lectures are available online to all users at licensing institutions or by individual purchase and download from the Morgan & Claypool site)- a portion of the abstract is related here:

“…Digital reference is a deceptively simple concept on its face: ‘the incorporation of human expertise into the information system.‘ This lecture seeks to explore the question of how human expertise is incorporated into a variety of information systems, from libraries, to digital libraries, to information retrieval engines, to knowledge bases. What we learn through this endeavor, begun primarily in the library context, is that the models, methods, standards, and experiments in digital reference have wide applicability. We also catch a glimpse of an unfolding future in which ubiquitous computing makes the identification, interaction, and capture of expertise increasingly important. It is a future that is much more complex than we had anticipated. It is a future in which documents and artifacts are less important than the contexts of their creation and use…”

Directory of Open Access Journals…02.18.09

18 02 2009


I thought it would be prudent and worth noting the expanse of the “Directory of  Open Access Journals” which describes itself as a “…service covers free, full text, quality controlled scientific and scholarly journals. We aim to cover all subjects and languages. There are now 3881 journals in the directory. Currently 1378 journals are searchable at article level. As of today 259673 articles are included in the DOAJ service.”

From their “About” page: “…The aim of the Directory of Open Access Journals is to increase the visibility and ease of use of open access scientific and scholarly journals thereby promoting their increased usage and impact.

The Directory aims to be comprehensive and cover all open access scientific and scholarly journals that use a quality control system to guarantee the content.

In short a one stop shop for users to Open Access Journals…”