Answerland Goings-On

Answerland Goings-On 4/11/16

What’s Going On with Answerland and the RFP?

The RFP has been published! The closing date for proposals is next Monday, April 18th, after which an evaluation team will review the proposals. We are planning to select a vendor in early May and have the new software up and running by mid-June.

In the meantime, I am working on getting everything ready for the great migration. You may be already getting emails from me about data cleanup. This is a good time to review your library’s policy page and make sure the information is correct.

Once the new software is in place, I am expecting the vendor to deliver 3-5 onsite trainings throughout Oregon. These will be focused on getting existing Answerland users familiar with the new platform. I plan on resuming the full-day trainings for new staff and volunteers sometime in the Fall.

Comings and Goings

Goodbye to Erin Sharwell (Hillsboro). Congratulations on your new opportunities. Answerland will miss you!

Greetings Rachel Kenny (State Library) and Gabriela Martinez Mercier (Columbia Gorge Community College). Answerland is glad to have you aboard!

Tamara’s Tips for Working with K-12 Students

  • If you ever find yourself in the middle of a ‘class bomb,’ give me or a fellow librarian a shout-out on Spark!
  • Use OSLIS. Not only does it have databases, but also information literacy tips and tutorials and citation makers. Our OSLIS policy page has info about accessing the databases.
  • If you find out about a particularly difficult assignment or have tips to share about a specific school project, post them to the forum.
  • Don’t hesitate to report inappropriate behavior to me. I have had success reaching out to teachers and media specialists who are grateful for the heads up and can remind students about online etiquette.
  • Watch “K thnx, working with teens online,” a presentation by Susan Smallsreed (MCL) and Ian Duncanson (Beaverton City Library) at OVRS. They have good insight into what is going on inside teens’ heads and what it means for serving them online.
  • Read “Do You Have Prince Albert in a Can? Or, When Bored Tweens Use Chat Reference” by Nicollette Sosulski. She illustrates a great way to handle pranking teens.

Patrons Chat Back
(a sampling of the last two months)

  • “Great service to reach a librarian other than phone or personal visit. Got my questions answered promptly. Will use it again.”
  • “I just learned about your service when I went onto my library site to see if they had the resource I was looking for and lo and behold found your site. I contacted you on the slim chance that you could help me locate something within 24 hours during term break! The librarian responded right away, he was clear in his remarks and gave me helpful info for the future (even though he was not able to locate exactly what I was searching for by !tomorrow!) I really appreciated his help anyway! I definitely will share my positive experience with others… Thank you very, very much!”
  • “How wonderful! A librarian from Queens (NY) just helped me find Oregon census data. Just what I needed and the librarian was very helpful. Even on a Saturday!”
  • “Being new to college after +30 years, I didn’t grasp what my instructor was wanting, but the librarian led me to a road I was able to travel to find the information I needed to turn in a great assignment. Thank you librarian and for being here on Sunday to help. I’d still be wandering if not for you.”
  • “Thank you! It was very easy to use and I found some great sources that would most likely not have come up on a google search.”
  • “This service was invaluable as it allowed me to quickly answer questions I had on my own time. The chat feature was especially useful because I didn’t have to wait for an email to be returned. The librarian quickly understood my problem and helped me take steps to find the information I needed.”
  • “I thought I would be up the creek without a paddle because the weekend has started and I have to write my first college research paper and never bothered to figure out how to access the library’s online databases. Alas, the librarian saved the day by giving me a link to all of the scholarly articles I could ever hope to access for this project. Thank you.”
  • “this was very helpful for finding awesome graphic novels!”
  • “My librarian was amazingly helpful. Librarians are awesome. She was very quick and located my source in what seemed like seconds. Wonderful. Wonderful.”