RefRen: Pecha Kucha

Pecha Kucha has become a standard feature of conferences.  It is a way for many presenters to share ideas and projects in one conference session without having to prepare a full-blown presentation.  Each presenter has 20 slides, which are advanced automatically every 20 seconds – so the entire presentation takes about 3 1/2 minutes.  Following are a couple of Pecha Kucha presentations I thought might be do-able at SPL:
Paraprofessionals in reference
Emily Chan, University Of the Pacific
Data show 3/4 of questions asked by patrons are fielded by paraprofessional staff.  To streamline, they put training materials on a wiki platform: materials are  freely accessible, archivable, web 2.0.   Assignments collated, available in multiple formats (video, docs).  Confidence scale is measured at beginning of training and at points throughout on survey monkey; there was an 84% confidence increase (sample size=2).  Challenges: the training is asynchronous; time-intensive; self-directed; there is a learning curve; requires staff buy-in. Recommendations: identify learning outcomes from the beginning; be strategic in terms of reference service; address staff and student perceptions as they vary from librarian perceptions.

Roving reference

Sarah Davidson (UC Merced)
Has never staffed a ref desk with librarians; students who need reference assistance make appointments, or use 24/7 chat.
The university tried roving reference because they were receiving conflicting info: stats show few questions asked, but also felt there was a need for reference assistance.  By instituting roving reference, they hoped to increase visibility. For 20 hrs/week staff wore red shirts with the infirmation “i” on the back; when not roving, would staff desk.  The service was publicized by student assistants already working in the library who had strong customer service skills; by table tents, signage, promotional video on web site; campus newspaper. Staff used a debrief form for stats: length, types of questions.  Roving averaged 2.7 q/hr and each question took less than 1 minute. Common questions involved printing issues, or finding a known item.  Challenges: marketing, approachability, and proactive vs patron privacy.  Overall: number and type of questions do not warrant a libn at the ref desk.  Recommencation: start small, evaluate from outset; give some thought to advertising and branding.

Chat/text ref
Ahniwa Ferrari
paid/free options; new: quora, hunch, own vs cooperative; several ways, one way.  AskHoratio: phone, email virtual study room: google tools; social tools – create as many access points as you can so you can reach as many as possible; nice thing about using all google tools is that you can use them all in one spot w/ gmail account; Google has ways to tag questions; google voice: can see transcripts; can push to ref desk or mobile phone. Google Talk allows librarian with a cell phone to rove. Elluminate: everyone can get a free room (3 users) video upload, chat, whiteboard, application sharing, transcripts; Facebook: too many users for lib to ignore; twitter: not as many as FB, goes mobile easily even on dumb phones.  Free is good; but need staff time for training; cooperation is great.

Danger ref libn! Danger! Admin Approaching!

Get your admin involved; they need to know what the front line does, help you secure new resources to make public service more efficient; teachable moments – let your admin see you houre using new tools to promote outreach that dont cost a lot of money.  Builds relationship and understanding each other on personal and professional levels..  thin opportunity.

Radical patron
Jean Costello
Current public library funding models are unsustainable. Staff are bogged down with the basics, creating and recreating the same wheels.  Public libraries don’t have staff or funding to hire or be top notch librarians and top notch IT professionals. One solution might be to create a national public library corporation like NPR or PBS funded by public donations and  fed support what do you get? We could leverage IT, generic content development; we should retain personal service, local content development.

Helping teachers overcome resistance to e-content
Student ideas:
explain what a pdf is
conduct reality check with faculty and students in the classroom at the same time? students are informed, just not using trad sources
EBSCO effective in providing access to 1000s of subscriptions
Do reality check about the next environment you’re going to


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