Answerland Goings-On

Answerland Goings-On 12/7/15

What’s going on with Answerland?We are making good progress on the RFP for new software. I am working on gathering an evaluation team to review proposals early next year.

It has been decided that the Answerland Advisory Committee will be reporting to the LSTA Council, which reports to the State Library Board. I am hoping the current members can meet in January to begin discussing the software transition and development of a new companion website.

Comings and Goings

Greetings Beth Gilbert (Hillsboro Public Library); Matthew Neer (Eugene Public Library); Shantelle Salyer (Multnomah County Library); Clare Sobotka (Linn-Benton Community College Library); and Meggie Wright (Linn-Benton Community College Library). Answerland is glad to have you aboard!

Farewell Ellen Francesa (Volunteer), Kim Gorman (Linn-Benton Community College) and Keli Yeats (volunteer). Answerland will miss you!


Due to our current staffing shortage, I have acquired extended QuestionPoint coverage from OCLC. They will now be covering Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 6-8pm, in addition to their usual coverage.

I also want to say many thanks to those who have stepped up and taken on extra shifts to fill in gaps in our coverage!

Washington Virtual Reference Conference

We are not holding our annual Summit conference this year, due to all of the ongoing changes with Answerland. However, Washington State is holding its first statewide VR conference on March 18th at Highline College. Nono Burling, my Washington State counterpart, has invited Oregon librarians to present. If you are interested, use this form to submit.  The deadline for proposals is January 15, 2016.

Fun Facts about Tamara

  • Oregon is the fourth Pacific state in which I have lived. (I think I’ll save Hawaii for my retirement years.) I have also lived in two out of the six New England states.
  • I have worked in libraries for over 17 years. I have held student, paraprofessional, and professional positions of various types (circulation, information literacy, reference, rural outreach, shelving, systems) in both public and academic libraries. The majority of my professional experience is in community colleges.
  • I grew up in a musical family, and began playing the piano at 3 years old and violin at age 8. The list of instruments that my family play include accordion, cello, clarinet, flute, guitar, harmonica, mandolin, saxophone, and voice.

“The moral bias behind your search results”

I watched this TedTalk recently and found it very interesting. It’s a good reminder for those of us in the reference field.

Patrons Chat Back

  • “I was having a hard time finding an article and was getting upset. It was nice to see there was help from our college library. I found the article myself but felt grateful that I would have someone help me when I needed it at 10 PM.”
  • “Yes, I really love your system, but I wish the librarians could respond faster. Now, my chat was at 8:15pm and I know they technically stop at 8 so I get it, but yeah this website is going to help me so much in my school career!”
  • “Initial response/connection lagged but peachy from there forward. [Librarian] was succinct yet personable….grand experience.”
  •  “[The librarian] was so helpful! I was having trouble using my library’s catalog for a specific search, and this extraordinary librarian walked me though a complex search process. This was especially amazing since the librarian is from a different library system with a different catalog. Yea for librarians! Yeah for Library Chat!”
  • “The person seemed knowledgeable about the available resources but did not seem to listen to the key point of my issue, that I live 200 miles away from the library and needed an online article. Repeating myself multiple times is frustrating.”
  • “It was wonderful to have such a quick response time.”
  • “I used this service because I wanted to find out why I could not log into my account. […] I thought the chat service is 24/7 and was hoping that my issue would be solved. But I was told that access to the users account is only available when the library is open. […] It would be very helpful if this kind of issue can be solved after hours.”
  •  “Your librarian seemed a little overworked, i could easily tell he was handling multiple people. at least 3 including me if not more. this reduces the overall quality of the help people receive. However, the help i received was just what i needed. I would recommend having a few more staff members on call.”
  • “Great service, quick answer!”
  •  “This is the most help I could ask for.”