Category Archives: mobile reference

5 Reasons You Should Have Ask-a-Librarian on Every Page of Your Website


To get the most value out of your library’s services and provide patrons with the highest level of service, it is important to make it as easy as possible for your patrons to connect with those services

The best way to connect patrons with your Ask-a-Librarian service is to have Ask-a-Librarian tabs, links or buttons on every page of your library’s website. Here are five ways that implementing such a strategy with your online reference will benefit your users:

1. All successful advertisers know that the key to getting a message across is through repetition and consistent branding. When your patrons interact with a consistent layout from page to page and see Ask-a-Librarian on every page, you have created the best possible ongoing marketing campaign for your service, with an important added bonus: It’s free.

2. While we can predict some user behavior, we never really know when and where on a website patrons are going to need assistance. A patron may be on a page where the information seems to be straight-forward to librarians, but to an uninitiated patron the information may leave questions. Likewise, a patron may be on one page but thinking ahead to another problem or the next step in his or her research process. Having Ask-a-Librarian immediately available from wherever the patron may be on the library’s website ensures that he or she will be able to connect to help when needed.

3. If a patron is interacting with the library’s website, encounters a problem, and then has to recall where to go to find the Ask-a-Librarian service, the library has not succeeded in making the most of the service’s primary benefit to users – the ability to connect them instantly with a library professional who can solve their problem.

4. Consistent placement of the Ask-a-Librarian tab on your library’s webpages makes marketing the service via social media or flyers much easier. When the Ask-a-Librarian tab is on every page of your library website, there is no need to place an easily forgotten URL (or URLs) on your marketing materials – simply state that the Ask-a-Librarian service is available from every page on the library website and where it is located (“look for our Ask-a-Librarian tab in the upper left-hand corner of any page on the library site”).

5. Each Ask-a-Librarian query that comes from a specific page can help you improve the overall content and design of that page. When you have an Ask-a-Librarian chat box on every page, and you are tracking which pages queries come in from, this gives you the great benefit of an ongoing focus group indirectly telling you what works and what doesn’t work on every page of your library’s site.

Responding quickly to queries will help you provide the top-notch customer service that will keep your library patrons satisfied and returning for more business. To make sure your patrons submit those queries whenever they need help on your library’s site, you should have ask-a-librarian tabs on every page.

 

Mosio for Libraries
Patron Support Simplified
http://mosio.com/libraries

Library News Update: 3D Printing Arrives at the Library, a brief history of the Bookmobile, and more

File photo. The Johnson County Library's Shawnee branch is located at 13811 Johnson Drive.

Libraries are often on the forefront of technology. The Chicago Public Library brings new meaning to that trend with its new CPL Innovation Lab. The Innovation Lab is free to the public and features three 3D printers, 3D printing software and various related tools. The CPL is also offering workshops to introduce patrons to the technology.

Chicago Public Library To Open 3D Printer Space

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At Mosio we’ve been watching the ’3D Printer in Libraries’ trend grow and we’re all for it. Chicago isn’t the only one. Joining them is the Saxonburg Area Library in Pittsburg, which received a generous gift of one 3D printer for its patrons to explore.

Heard Off the Street: Library’s 3-D printer spits out all kinds of fun and learning

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From technology innovation to the history of an innovative way to provide service to underserviced rural communities, the Chicoer has a story of the beginning of the California State Library Bookmobile. Long before digital reference was avialable, libraries reached out to patrons by physically bringing services to them. We might even say that the Bookmobile can be seen as the start of mobile reference

Check It Out: A library on wheels

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We’re also keeping our eye and these trends in library technologies and services, from the Library as a retail space, to studies on how young people are using libraries today.

Dalby Library enters the digital age

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Library system works to serve patrons’ changing technological needs

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When Libraries Become Retailers

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Siouxland Libraries Upgrade System

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Libraries will release a “Top 10″ recommendation list starting this fall

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THE LATEST ADDITION TO THE OBAMACARE ARMY: LIBRARIES

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Library learning to grow on its own

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Hutt libraries offer eReaders

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New report maps young Americans’ library, technology use

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Lake libraries add new database useful for finding friends, doing business research and more

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Young adults like libraries and books, new study finds

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W.O.W. bus brings books, technology to Missoula County

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Healthy libraries, healthy communities

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NFC tagged library lets you research books with your smartphone before you borrow

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Library user numbers up 10,000 as eBook usage rockets

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Queens Library Introduces Downloadable E-Magazines

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Libraries offer patrons e-books

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Westfield Library offers magazine collection online

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Library use can reverse falling standards

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Johnson County Library honored for innovation

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Staten Island’s Stapleton library bigger, beautiful and chock full of books

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Library to start Sunday hours

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Found and listed by Mosio for Libraries – Patron Support Software for Libraries. All copyright belongs to original owners.

Library News: Libraries using radio waves to save staff and customers time, The “Bookless” Library, US libraries to help uninsured Americans figure out new health coverage options

(Chris Carlson/AP)

At Mosio we love libraries. It turns out so do young people. A new study finds that the age group that uses libraries the most is 16 to 29 year olds. Given how tech savvy young people are, this is an incentive for libraries to keep on the cutting edge of technology and digital reference trends. However, the study also finds that despite their technological skills, young people are still fond of traditional bound paper books.

Young adults like libraries and books, new study finds

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A love of paper books may be part of the success of the “Little Free Library” kiosks. Popping up around the globe, these small wooden boxes offer people a new way to share books and the reading experience.

Little Free Library kiosks pop up in Sacramento area

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From free books on every corner to the “Bookless Library,” North Carolina State University is turning the traditional library on its head. Their new Hunt Library is a clean modern open space, with lots of room for students to congregate and collaborate. What’s missing are the books. They aren’t gone completely, however. They are simply tucked away in an archival space, and delivered by a book delivery system called the “bookBot.”

The “Bookless” Library

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Here are some other news items from the libary world you might find interesting.

Queens Library Offers Free Digital Copies of Magazines

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ALA 2013: Libraries to Offer Monthly ‘Top 10′ Book List

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Bringing libraries back to communities

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Video: Libraries using radio waves to save staff, customers time

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Local libraries: staying relevant in a digital age

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Siouxland Libraries New Technology

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The Central Library Moves Hidden Treasures Out Into The Public Eye

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Library now offers even more downloadable audiobooks

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Morton Grove Library to open new entrance, install self-checkout

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Amid changing technology, West Virginia’s public libraries maintain relevance

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Laptop donations increase access at library

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Howard Library System named Library of the Year

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APNewsBreak: US libraries to help uninsured Americans figure out new health coverage options

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Who knew reading could be so lucrative — Library system to give away $1,500 in prizes

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Library to roll out new checkout system

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Mt. Airy’s Lovett Library selected as prototype in citywide library system transformation

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Oregon State Library offers services to enhance local library programs

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Perry Castañeda Library consolidates service desk

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New mobile app lets users search library catalog, download eBooks

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Access Aberdeen library services 24/7

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Pima Library goes mobile with new app

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The Library virtually and in reality

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Found and listed by Mosio for Libraries – Patron Support Software for Libraries. All copyright belongs to original owners.

 

25 Great Text Messaging Acronyms You May or May Not Need to Know for Your Text-a-Librarian Service

Do you speak text?

Mosio_TextSpeak_Translator

Your patrons speak many languages, and you can’t learn them all. But one thing you can do to improve service to your patrons is familiarize yourself with some of the more common terms and phrases in their languages of preference. If your patron is text-savvy enough to be texting his or her librarian, then one of his or her languages of preference is chat and chances are he or she is up on the latest text messaging acronyms.

A great way to enhance chat service for your patrons and maximize your efficient use of time is to become familiar with some of the most common and helpful text messaging acronyms. Speaking your users’ languages, especially in online communications, will help them feel more comfortable and give that personal touch so they don’t feel like they are talking to a robot.

There are thousands of text messaging acronyms, but we want to stick to the ones that can be used in a professional environment and that are not too obscure. These are the ones your users will likely be using, and these are the ones that you should be using as well. You will want to tailor your chat acronym use to each session, gauging each individual user’s chat acronym expertise level by the acronyms that he or she uses him- or herself.

Here is a list of 25 text messaging acronyms which you can add to your arsenal of reference tools.

AAP – Always a pleasure
BIF – Before I forget
BRB – Be right back
BTW – By the way
EOM – End of message
F2F – Face to face
GL – Good luck
HAND – Have a nice day
IANAL – I am not a lawyer
IMA – I might add
IMO – In my opinion
IOW – In other words
ISWYM – I see what you mean
JIC – Just in case
OIC – Oh, I see
OTOH – On the other hand
PD – Public domain
SOW – Speaking of which
THX – Thanks
TTBOMK – To the best of my knowledge
TYVM – Thank you very much
WB – Welcome back
WRT – With regard to
WTG – Way to go!
YW – You’re welcome

The patron texting a question is typically expecting a quick response and librarians need to be prepared to answer text-a-librarian questions promptly. Lots of chat acronyms, such as ROFL and L8R, are designed for close friends. Your users may employ such acronyms, but you will want to restrict your use to the more professional ones such as those in the list above.

And if your patron sends you a puzzling collection of letters and you have no idea what they mean, Mosio’s text speak translator will give you the help you need with its 800+ text messaging acronym definitions.

Moose Jaw Public Library’s Text a Librarian Service – Great Video Coverage (Canada)

This video popped up in our alerts and we thought it was so great we had to pass it along.

Great job Moose Jaw Public Library in getting up and running and EXCELLENT work getting some news coverage!

 

moosejaw

Library NewsByte: The library is home to not only books, Library launches free mobile app, Vending machines latest library offering from Northland

Members of the public making good use of the Family Mobile Library during its stop at Reayrt y Chrink, Port Erin

Maureen Sullivan, President of the ALA, writes on the Huffington Post about the new Pew study showing that the vast majority of parents place a high value libraries. She discusses what libraries have to offer children and parents, from tangible resources to intangible experiences, such as instilling a love of reading and providing a safe community environment.

Libraries Offer Children Resources Not Available at Home

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One of the intangible items libraries offer to all patrons, is the experience of browsing. This editorial talks about the personal experience of browsing at the library.

Libraries offer more than books – it’s a personal experience

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In this difficult economy, people are finding the library can be an essential resource in finding a job. The Spencer Daily Reporter talks specifically about the ways the Spencer Public Library is helping patrons in their job search. They include access to computers and the internet and books on cover letters, resumes, and job searching. Additionally, the library website has links to skill building resources.

How the library Can Help You to Find a Job!

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Read more about the ways libraries are helping people in these other news items.

The library is home to not only books

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Clive library to launch new online catalog

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Library makes changes

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Parents Value Libraries’ Digital Technologies and Programs, Pew Research Shows

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The New York Public Library Discusses eBook Pilot Projects

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Get the library app

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Even in Digital Age, Libraries Still Considered Crucial to Youth Development by Most U.S. Parents

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College Libraries Transition to High Tech Learning Centers

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Libraries; maintaining a role in the digital world

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Mobile service helping those who can’t get to local library

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B-BP Looking to Shore Up Library Programs, Enhance Technology

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Little Free Library is a great, big idea in little, tiny space

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Shorewood-Troy Library Now Offers Home Delivery Service

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Vending machines latest library offering from Northland

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Magazines go digital at Garfield County Libraries

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More people using libraries with book loans up 3% in 2012

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3D Printing Comes to Sunnyvale Library

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New Rochelle Library is not bed-bug infested

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New Library Program to Try Out Tablets & E-Readers Starts at 10 a.m.

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Library launches free mobile app

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Libraries unite to bump up size of catalog

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The bookmobile gets the digital treatment

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Found and listed by Mosio for Libraries – Patron Support Software for Libraries. All copyright belongs to original owners.

Library Newsbyte: George W. Bush Library Opens to Public, Pew: Parents Love the Library, With Tiny Libraries – Bringing Free Literature to the Streets

Carlsbad libraries work to meet new demands, technology

Carlsbad libraries work to meet new demands, technology

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Many libraries offer adaptive technologies to assist patrons with various disabilities. The Fort Frances library is trying to reach out to the community to let them know about the availability of technologies to assist the visually impaired, which have been in place since the library opened. They include the Topaz magnifier, which magnifies text up to 16X; Ruby, a handled magnifying device similar to Topaz; and SARA, which converts text to speech.

Adaptive technology equipment at library helps vision-impaired

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The Pew Internet and Life Project found that 90% of parents surveyed think that libraries are important for their children, while 80% go further and say they are “very important.” Parents appreciate libraries because of the resources that they provide, and for how they encourage children to be readers.

Pew: Parents Love the Library

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Read more about library services in these other news stories.

Value in the Library

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Groundbreaking Online Library Intrigues Educators

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Evanston Public Library creates new smartphone app

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Kindles add to library’s offerings in technology

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George W. Bush Library Opens to Public

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Libraries have the clout, respect to be leaders in parent engagement: Margaret Bernstein

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Rome library improves Wi-Fi

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New library technology at Schneider Elementary helps students enjoy reading

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British Library’s online harvest will paint ‘rich and vivid picture’ of life in the UK

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Local libraries offer free online magazines

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Library starts lending e-books

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With Tiny Libraries, Bringing Free Literature to the Streets

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Library doubles number of public computers

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Hudson, Litchfield, Lyndeborough libraries embrace open-source software

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Program brings tiny libraries to Bloomington

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One-day survey shows how Washington libraries are used

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County library system offering ebooks

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Digital Bookmobile in the Tri-Cities

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Library takes aim at grownups

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Buhl Public Library Now Offers Audiobooks, eBooks

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New library in Pasco is for whole community

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Houston Public Library serves patrons in all walks of life

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Found and listed by Mosio for Libraries – Patron Support Software for Libraries. All copyright belongs to original owners.

Four Ways to Promote Your Ask-a-Librarian Service

promote

Your Ask-a-Librarian service is a powerful research tool for your patrons, most of whom have come to expect quick and easy access to information and answers. Here are four promotional ideas to get the word out and help your patrons take advantage of this service.

1.  Instructional Sessions and Classes

One of the best ways to promote your Ask-a-Librarian service is to tell your patrons about it directly in informational literacy classes (for academic libraries) or computer and other instructional classes and workshops (for public libraries). A live demo in a class or group setting will really grab your patrons’ attention so they remember to use the service the next time they need information remotely.

2. Posters with QR Codes

Another great way to promote your Ask-a-Librarian service is by placing posters around your library building (and campus community, for academic libraries) advertising the service. Be sure to include a QR code to take patrons directly to your Ask-a-Librarian information page, where they can learn more about and use the service.

3. Social Media

Does your library have a blog, or a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest account? A great way to inform your patrons of an online service such as Ask-a-Librarian is to reach them when they are already online. If they are reading about your Ask-a-Librarian service from any of your social media accounts, then they are either on a computer or a smart phone, and they can go straight to the service and utilize it immediately.

4. Signs on Computer Monitors

Finally, placing small and unobtrusive announcement “bubbles” in the upper right-hand corner of your library’s computer monitors will certainly catch your patrons attention without being a distraction. One of the best methods to create these announcements is to use dialogue bubbles from MS Word. Type in your message, laminate the announcements, cut them out following the dialogue bubble outlines, and then attach one to the upper-right corner of each of your monitors using Velcro or another adhesive method.

These are just four ideas to get you started with your Ask-a-Librarian promotions, but you can come up with many more. The key is to be creative and have fun! When you connect your users with your library’s services, everybody benefits.

Michael English is an academic librarian and freelance writer/editor.

Library Customer Service: Online vs. In-Person (Ask a Librarian Software vs. Asking a Librarian in Real Life)

Library-Customer-Service-Mosio-for-Libraries

Libraries, and the folks who work in them, solve problems for patrons by connecting them with the resources and information that they need.

In today’s online world an ever-increasing amount of this help is taking place via the magic of the web and mobile technologies. Patrons are no longer face-to-face with the library staff who are helping them. Instead, they are communicating with the library from their homes, their offices, and on-the-go via their mobile devices.

Libraries today must be ready to deliver excellent customer service in this online environment. Top-notch customer service is something patrons have come to expect from libraries, and this service needs to extend to the growing world of virtual assistance.

Online customer service is applied in different ways than face-to-face customer service, but it adheres to the same two central precepts:

(1) Ensure the patron knows you are listening to his or her query and that you are committed to helping until his or her information problem is resolved; and

(2) Do it with a smile on your face.

Using Ask a Librarian Software you can achieve number one by frequently communicating with patrons so they know you have not left them. Remember, they cannot see you, so you must tell them exactly what you are doing. One minute of unexplained silence in a chat box can seem an eternity and is enough to lose a patron. If a search is taking longer than expected, give the patron frequent updates so he or she knows you are still with them.

To achieve number two, you must convey your smile with the language that you use. Phrases like, “It’s my pleasure to help you today,” “Have I answered all of your questions fully and completely,” and “Thank you for being so patient,” will go a long way towards conveying that smile and giving your patrons the warm, cared-for feeling they look forward to from a library interaction.

Michael English is an academic librarian and freelance writer/editor.

This article is provided by Mosio for Libraries. To receive these directly in your inbox, please register for our Patron Support Tips Newsletter.


Patron Support Simplified
www.mosio.com/libraries

Getting More Patron Usage from your Text a Librarian Service | Best Practices from Mosio’s Text a Librarian

The video below is a recorded session discussing how we’re seeing libraries increase patron usage. Below is a transcript of the notes taken during the recording.

 

Increasing Patron Usage of your Text a Librarian Service:

 

Get patrons to register their phones.

 

The following conversation took place late in the evening as part of a podcast test run…

 

We decided to keep it as is.

 

Best practices for increasing Text a Librarian usage among patrons.

 

Your cell phone is your database of contacts.

 

No one remembers phone numbers anymore.

 

If someone’s number isn’t in your phone, they’re not an active part your world.

 

Even voting on American Idol or So You Think You Can Dance requires you to “remember later.”

 

The goal isn’t about marketing or promoting your service, it’s about registering patron phones.

 

Simply put:
Your library’s contact info needs to be on their phone.

 

Academic libraries have shown us the best practice for getting patrons to use their text a librarian service.

 

Text for Instructions is the best way to get patrons to register their phones.

 

Text KEYWORD to 66746.
(Except use your library’s keyword)

 

Text for Instructions presents the patron with a different experience.

It gives them a specific call to action right NOW.

With your info in their phone, they’ll have it when they are out in the world.

 

Focus on getting them to text in the first time – register their phones.

 

It doesn’t hurt to remind them regularly too (text message alerts are great for that).

 

All promotional materials and instructions should have that “TRY IT NOW!” call to action.

 

Libraries are getting this and putting it into practice, with success!

 

Everyone is texting, encourage them to text with you.

Research shows they prefer it over a phone call.

 

Academic Libraries have a different opportunity with orientation.

 

But…
Public Libraries can do it at various times where they have the attention of groups of people.

 

Events
Speakers
Training
Open Houses
Announcements

Text for Instructions works!
It educates patrons on how to begin asking questions…

 

And…
it is also great for having patrons sign up to receive alerts and announcements.

 

1) Get Patrons to Register their phones.

2) Use Text for Instructions to do it.

3) Remind them whenever possible.


Thanks!

Mosio’s Text a Librarian

www.textalibrarian.com

Fill out my online form.