Answerland Goings-On

Answerland Goings-On 1/08/16

What’s going on with Answerland?The RFP for new software is working its way through the state administrative process. I will let you know when it is officially published.

The Answerland Advisory Committee is working on re-creating bylaws, since it is now part of the State Library Board structure. The bylaws, as well as committee membership, will be presented to the LSTA Advisory Council (to whom the Answerland Advisory Committee will be reporting) at their May meeting.

Statistics for Fall Quarter (Sept – Dec)

  • Chats: 5,541
  • Texts: 286
  • Emails: 247
  • Total: 6,074 (about 66 questions per day)

Goodbye to….

…  Elena Gold and Catherine McMullen (Multnomah County Library). Congratulations on your new opportunities. Answerland will miss you!


Dealing with inappropriate behavior is one of the least enjoyable, yet unavoidable, part of our jobs as virtual reference librarians. Last month, while watching one of my favorite holiday movies, Mixed Nuts, I was reminded that it helps to keep a sense of humor about it. Here’s a great scene in which Madeline Kahn, whose character is a crisis hotline employee, deals with a prank caller.

If you are feeling frustrated by pranksters, I recommend watching (or perhaps re-watching) Dawn Lowe-Wincentsen’s presentation from last year’s Oregon Virtual Reference Summit, There’s an Elk in the Living Room: How to Handle Prank Calls. It’s a great refresher on what is a prank, what is not a prank, and how best to deal with them.

Patrons Chat Back

  • “I was surprised to get help at this hour (9:50 pm) but the librarian that helped me told me everything I needed to know. The chat is a great service.”
  • “The librarians who help make this service work are very kind and helpful.”
  • “Librarians are helpfully, but they think I can’t use Google. I do. So when I’m looking for something answers like “Google it like “lalala AND dadada” and you can get 2128172382142348 hits about your question is TRULY not helps me. So that is my main problem with the problem-solvers.”
  • “Great service!!!!!!!!!!”
  • “It would be helpful to know what an average wait time for your service is.”
  • “In an age of instant gratification this service is perfect!”
  • “They did not exactly help me with what I needed to find out. I wish they would have said what they thought.”
  • “Give [the librarian] a raise….”

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