Quality Team

Answerland’s Quality Team is a volunteer group of Answerlanders from around the United States. They help improve the Answerland experience by managing the mentoring program, providing best practices and tips for a quality reference experience, and recognizing quality digital reference work.

Rubrics for Quality Interactions

Answerland’s Quality Team mentors as well as recognizes librarians for high quality digital reference work while staffing the service.

Everyone is welcome to nominate transcripts that exemplify high quality virtual reference service for the Notable Transcript Award; please send nominations to any member of the Quality Team.

Additionally, Answerland librarians can log in and view transcripts that have received the Notable Transcript Award as well as thoughts from the Quality Team on what made them notable.

In evaluating transcripts, the Answerland Quality Team uses the following rubrics as a guideline.

Rubric for quality in chat reference

  1. A cheerful, welcoming tone
  2. A good reference interview (asking clarifying questions)
  3. Use of authoritative resources
  4. Good general communication skills
  5. Offering more help
  6. Gracefully concluding the chat transaction

Download the chat rubric reference card as a handy reminder.

Chat rubric reference card

Rubric for quality in email reference

  1. Answers should include a greeting
  2. A cheerful, welcoming tone
  3. Use of authoritative resources
  4. Good general communication skills
  5. Offering more help
  6. Sign with a signature that includes a name

Rubric for quality in text messaging reference

  1. A short answer, ideally no more than 160 characters. Longer answers that require a reference interview are also acceptable.
  2. In addition to an answer, the librarian’s message may include a brief web address to cite the source of the answer or to provide additional information.
  3. Sign with a first name in order to make a human connection with the patron.

Answerland Quality Team members

  • Restart and improve Answerland’s Mentor a Librarian program
    • Revive this past program and update it to support the current needs of Answerland librarians
  • Create best practices and tip sheets to support new and experienced Answerland staff
    • Corral and update existing best practices documentation, then create new documentation based on what Answerlanders want
  • Update the Quality Team section of the Answerland website
    • Continue to revise the page to ensure it reflects current information and provides easy access to Answerland’s litany of quality-related resources
  • Generate tip sheet for giving Answerland feedback
    • Promote continuous improvement of Answerland reference transactions
  • Improve communication with Answerlanders about the Quality Team
    • Increase awareness among the Answerland group as to what the Quality Team is working on and how we can help Answerlanders with various quality-related questions and concerns
  • Recognize outstanding transcripts, Notable Transcript Awards
    • Continue the existing program to highlight and commend notable Answerland reference transactions
    • Continue documenting the notable transcripts on the Transcripts page as a training resource for Answerland librarians

The Answerland Quality Team welcomes your nominations, feedback, and suggestions.