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  1. Virtual Reference Service: Our Real-Time Experience Leela Balraj and Tom Klingler Kent State University ALAO Annual, Oct. 26, 2001

  2. Abstract Today's college students are conducting much of their academic research outside the physical confines of the traditional library building, using networked connections in labs, residence halls, apartments, and homes. This convenience has its drawbacks, particularly in terms of obtaining traditional reference assistance. Students anywhere can still benefit from the guidance that reference librarians are able to provide in retrieving relevant, accurate, and authoritative information. One new initiative at Kent State University is to provide virtual reference service to students at remote locations using real-time videoconferencing. This session will discuss the practical as well as the technical aspects of our experiences. ALAO Annual, Oct. 26, 2001

  3. Our setting: Desktop H 323 ALAO Annual, Oct. 26, 2001

  4. Shared windows… ALAO Annual, Oct. 26, 2001

  5. More shared windows… ALAO Annual, Oct. 26, 2001

  6. Underway… ALAO Annual, Oct. 26, 2001

  7. Background… Student Retention Initiative grant proposal 1. Director, Information Services; Coordinator, Reference Services; Dean, Honors College 2. Promote reference service ALAO Annual, Oct. 26, 2001

  8. Background… Reaching out to off-site users…       "Reference work includes the direct, personal aid within a library to persons in search of information for whatever purpose, and also various library activities especially aimed at making information as easily available as possible." -Margaret Hutchins, Introduction to Reference Work (1944)     1.  Traditional off-site reference service: Telephone; Email 2. Recent off-site reference service: Chat; Video/Audio real-time conferencing; 24/7 ALAO Annual, Oct. 26, 2001

  9. Background… Pilot target group: Honors College students 1. Good working relationships 2. Attractive environment - library resource room; computer lab; dorms 3. Appropriate networking 4. Meet information needs - individual honors work; senior honors thesis/project ALAO Annual, Oct. 26, 2001

  10. Our service…RefLINK Spring 2001: Introduction of service & staff training 1. Introduce service – Open House 2. 'Name The Service' survey - RefLINK 3. Training - team teaching; observation; group instruction ALAO Annual, Oct. 26, 2001

  11. Our service…RefLINK… Summer 2001: Pilot project with McNair Scholars students 1. Propose support for new service 2. Establish working relationship with students 3. Demonstrate service 4. Get feedback – formal & informal 5. Keep lines of communication open ALAO Annual, Oct. 26, 2001

  12. Our service…RefLINK… Fall 2001: Honors College students 1. 'Food For Thought' lecture series 2. Advertise service - Daily Kent Stater; flyers 3. Promote service - Student reporter ALAO Annual, Oct. 26, 2001

  13. An incoming call… ALAO Annual, Oct. 26, 2001

  14. Would you answer this one?! ALAO Annual, Oct. 26, 2001

  15. Shared whiteboard… ALAO Annual, Oct. 26, 2001

  16. E-boredom… ALAO Annual, Oct. 26, 2001

  17. Two-way whiteboard… ALAO Annual, Oct. 26, 2001

  18. Danger! Video zoom…. ALAO Annual, Oct. 26, 2001

  19. Service issues… Training 1. Team teaching 2. Group instruction 3. Observation ALAO Annual, Oct. 26, 2001

  20. Service issues… Staffing 1. Librarians 2. Graduate Reference Assistants (library science students) 3. Library Associates (future) ALAO Annual, Oct. 26, 2001

  21. Service issues… Real-time experiences 1. Types of interactions - in-depth research topics; ready reference; citation verification 2. Problems encountered - technical glitches 3. Lessons learned - learning curve; user acceptance ALAO Annual, Oct. 26, 2001

  22. Service issues… Promotion 1. Daily Kent Stater campus newspaper articles 2. Flyers in Honors College bulletin board and computer lab ALAO Annual, Oct. 26, 2001

  23. Future… 1. Expand to other locations on campus - computer labs; dorms; branch libraries; campus help desk; regional campuses; distance education 2. Expand hours of service - meet needs of students 3. Technology advancements ALAO Annual, Oct. 26, 2001

  24. The technology… • Supports high-quality video and audio • Can be used with collaboration tools: a. shared whiteboard b. shared browser 3. Point-to-point or multipoint 4. H 323 is the protocol standard for video conferencing-over-IP ALAO Annual, Oct. 26, 2001

  25. Advantages of H 323… 1. No ISDN line charges 2. Informal use by anyone anytime on a desktop PC 3. Less need for expensive special rooms and advance reservations 4. Cheap: a typical PC can be upgraded to a good quality videoconferencing station for $900.00 ALAO Annual, Oct. 26, 2001

  26. H 323 v. H 32x 1. H 320 – for ISDN 2. H 321 – for ATM 3. H 322 – for lans with QoS 4. H 323 – for IP ALAO Annual, Oct. 26, 2001

  27. What’s needed… 1. TCP/IP network 2. Switched port is nice 3. High-end PC 4. An H 323 kit 5. MCU gateway for multipoint conferences (and multi-protocol) ALAO Annual, Oct. 26, 2001

  28. What’s in a kit? 1. Software 2. Specialized video card 3. Camera 4. Microphone ALAO Annual, Oct. 26, 2001

  29. Some products… VCON http://www.vcon.com/ ALAO Annual, Oct. 26, 2001

  30. Products… Teleportec http://www.teleportec.com/ ALAO Annual, Oct. 26, 2001

  31. Products… …another VCON product ALAO Annual, Oct. 26, 2001

  32. Products… …a VCON model for small groups ALAO Annual, Oct. 26, 2001

  33. Products… Metropark Supernova http://www.metropark.com/ ALAO Annual, Oct. 26, 2001

  34. Our VCON model Start up… ALAO Annual, Oct. 26, 2001

  35. Some settings… ALAO Annual, Oct. 26, 2001

  36. More settings… ALAO Annual, Oct. 26, 2001

  37. Tricky technical issues… 1. Shared resolution 2. Feedback 3. Application sharing ALAO Annual, Oct. 26, 2001

  38. More Products… 1. Zydacron comCenter Conferencing Room System http://picturephone.com/products/comcenterroomsystem.htm 2. PictureTel 960 & 970 Videoconferencing Systems http://picturephone.com/products/picturetel_960_970.htm 3. Polycom ViewStation H.323 http://picturephone.com/products/polycom_viewstation_h323.htm ALAO Annual, Oct. 26, 2001

  39. Gateways and gatekeepers… 1. Multi-protocol: Between H323 (IP,) H320(ISDN,) H321 (ATM) 2. Multi-point: More than two participants 3. MCU = Multipoint Control/Conferencing Unit ALAO Annual, Oct. 26, 2001

  40. Gateway products… 1. First Virtual http://www.fvc.com/products/vgate.htm 2. Cisco http://www.cisco.com/univercd/cc/td/doc/pcat/vc3500.htm 3. Radvision http://www.radvision.com/f_products/f1_overview.php3?prod=Products%2BOverview ALAO Annual, Oct. 26, 2001

  41. Basics of H 323 1. University of Illinois at Chicago http://www.uic.edu/depts/accc/newsletter/adn30/techtip.html 2. Synetrix http://www.synetrix.co.uk/technologies/video/video_conferencing.htm 3. IMTC (International Multimedia Telecommunications Consortium ) http://www.imtc.org/h323.htm ALAO Annual, Oct. 26, 2001

  42. Bibliography… Broughton, K. M. (2001). Our experiment in online, real-time reference. Computers in Libraries, 21 (4), 26-31. Janes, J., et.al. (1999). Digital reference services in academic libraries.   Reference & User Services Quarterly, 39 (2), 145-150. Kasowitz, A., et.al. (2000). Quality standards for digital reference consortia. Reference & User Services Quarterly, 39 (4), 355-363. Kenney, B. J. (2001). Academic libraries test Web-based reference. Library Journal, 126 (12), 25. Lankes, R. D. et. al. (Eds.). (2000). Digital reference service in the new millennium: Planning, management, and evaluation. New York: Neal-Schuman. ALAO Annual, Oct. 26, 2001

  43. Bibliography…continued… Lipow, A. G. (1998). Reference service in a digital age. Reference & User Services Quarterly, 38 (1), 47-48. Meola, M. & Stormont, S. (2000). Real-time reference service for the remote user: From the telephone and electronic mail to Internet chat, instant messaging, and collaborative software. The Reference Librarian, no. 67-68, 29-40. Oder, N. (2001). The shape of e-reference. Library Journal, 126 (2), 46-49. Schneider, K. G. (2000). The distributed librarian: Live, online, real-time reference. American Libraries, 31 (10), 64. ALAO Annual, Oct. 26, 2001

  44. Bibliography…continued… Sloan, B. (2001). Ready for reference: Academic libraries offer live web-based reference: Preliminary report. Retrieved October 15, 2001 on the World Wide Web: http://www.lis.uiuc.edu/~b-sloan/ready4ref.htm Tenopir, C. (2001). Virtual reference services in a real world. Library Journal, 126 (12), 38-40. Weissman, S. (2001). Considering a launch? Library Journal, 126 (2), 49. Wolf, L. C. (1999). Multimedia applications in heterogeneous Internet/ATM environments. Internet Research: Electronic Networking Applications and Policy, 9 (1), 49-57. ALAO Annual, Oct. 26, 2001

  45. Contact info… Virtual Reference Service: Our Real-time Experience at Kent State University Leela Balraj Tom Klingler Information Services Librarian Assistant Dean for Systems Reference Dept. Kent State University Kent State University P.O. Box 5190 P.O. Box 5190 Kent, OH 44242 Kent, OH 44242 Voice: 330-672-1646 Voice: 330-672-1657 Fax: 330-672-4811 Fax: 330-672-3964 Email: tk@kent.edu Email: lbalraj@lms.kent.edu ALAO Annual, Oct. 26, 2001

  46. Thanks… http://www.library.kent.edu/~tk/h323.ppt ALAO Annual, Oct. 26, 2001