a workshop sponsored by the statewide virtual reference project
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A workshop sponsored by the Statewide Virtual Reference Project. To increase awareness of:. Changing customer expectations Basic concepts of chat reference Reference delivery options Status of chat reference in Washington State. To increase awareness of:. Collaborative chat networks

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to increase awareness of
To increase awareness of:
  • Changing customer expectations
  • Basic concepts of chat reference
  • Reference delivery options
  • Status of chat reference in Washington State
to increase awareness of1
To increase awareness of:
  • Collaborative chat networks
  • Software used for chat reference
  • Creative approaches to marketing
  • Trends in virtual reference
  • Resources to stay current
all materials are on a web site

All materials are on a Web site.

Virtual Reference 101

vrstrain.spl.org/virtual101/

why go virtual

Why go virtual?

What do you value in the online services that you use?

are your library users ready for real time
Are your library users ready for real-time?
  • Internet usage in the Pacific Northwest
  • Your community and their online preferences
what is chat reference
What is chat reference?
  • An exciting way to deliver information!
  • Uses software created for e-retailers like Lands’ End.
  • You can do a live reference interview, push Web pages, share applications, provide a transcript.
chat reference
Chat reference…
  • Now offered by many libraries.
  • A “menu item” for users.
  • Timeline and glossary
chat and e mail reference produce knowledge bases

Chat and e-mail reference produce “knowledge bases.”

Examples are QuestionPoint and Google Answers.

collaboration and innovation
Collaboration and innovation…
  • Taking advantage of time zones
  • Referral to global network
  • 24/7 service
  • Expert services and languages other than English
  • Statewide and country-wide efforts
chat reference in washington
Chat reference in Washington…
  • Statewide VRS Project
  • Expansion of chat reference services
  • Variety of software packages used
  • Excellent marketing guidelines
  • Collaboration and innovation
software for chat reference
Software for chat reference:
  • MOO
  • Open source
  • Instant messaging
  • Contact center software
software for chat reference1
Software for chat reference:
  • Question referral and management
  • VoIP?
  • A major decision
marketing guidelines
Marketing guidelines:
  • Brand development
  • Target audiences
  • Promotional strategies
some innovative marketing1
Some innovative marketing…

Promotion to a target audience

Dude, Where’s my library?

Stevens County Rural

Library District

www.scrld.org

Get Help From The Librarian In Real Time With 24/7 Reference!

booth at the county fair1

Booth at the County Fair…

“Over the four day fair, we gave away 2,675 free items to those who spun the wheel. Prizes included water bottles, balloons, rulers, and candy. Our booth is always a hit and this year it gave us an excellent way to publicize virtual

reference.”

Kristie Kirkpatrick, Whitman County Library

other marketing efforts
Other marketing efforts…
  • Billboard and radio spots
  • Visits to city councils, chambers of commerce, local schools.
  • Prominent link on Web page
  • Promotional kits
trends
Trends…
  • Reliance on consortia
  • Reference management systems
  • Partnerships
trends1
Trends…
  • End of start-up funding
  • Continuing struggle with privacy rights
  • More wireless and multimedia
trends2
Trends…
  • Expansion of commercial services?
  • NISO standards
  • Services in more languages
ways to stay current
Ways to stay current:
  • Dig Ref listserv
  • VRD Web site and annual conference
  • Digital Ref Bibliography
  • Live Reference Group
  • RUSA events
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