Discovery and Web Librarian University of New Mexico
Reaching Potential Users through Proactive Chat Proactive chat, a pop-up widget inviting users to access chat reference services at the point of need, has tremendous potential to equalize access to expert reference services, but implementing this service sustainably can pose challenges. The existing literature shows that proactive chat can help more users with real reference questions connect to library services, but the significant increase in chat volume can be intimidating for libraries with fixed staffing models. This presentation focuses on implementation choices like pop-up trigger time that can impact chat volume and question complexity with the aim of helping practitioners right-size this service to their libraries.
An Examination of Professional Journalists ISB for Outreach and Reference Services In order to improve an R1 university library’s outreach and reference services to participants of a university’s journalism fellows program, librarians conducted semi-structured interviews with seven fellows to discover their information seeking behaviors. After coding the transcripts for themes, preliminary findings suggest that while journalists often have highly-developed information seeking skills, they may be unaware of the depth and breadth of library services. This presentation will discuss these findings, how this study has affected the librarians’ engagement practices with the fellows, and how the findings can be extended to supporting journalists at reference service points at public and academic libraries.
Development and Use of the READ Scale in Assessing Chat Reference: A Meta-study A giant leap forward from the hashmark statistics-collecting paradigm, the READ Scale is used to understand and make decisions about reference services. Yet this industry standard assessment tool predates the widespread adoption of chat by libraries, and so chat reference did not fully inform its development. In this meta-study of published articles, gray literature, and popular content, we critically analyze the foundational assumptions of the applicability of the READ Scale to chat transactions, its use by academic librarians to understand chat reference, and resulting service changes.