Ask Us 24/7 Resource Page

Participating Libraries

Ask Us 24/7 is a project of the Western New York Library Resources Council and owes its success to all the participating member libraries who have made this cooperative venture a reality. Participating members are listed at http://www.askus247.org/info/partlibry.asp

Resources for Participating Libraries

Desk Schedule

Getting Started

Policies

Staying Informed

Committee

  • The Ask Us 24/7 Advisory Board (made of participating librarians throughout the state) oversees the direction and promotion of the service. Our 2011 Advisory Board:
    • CDLC:
      • Mike Daly - Fulton Montgomery Community College
      • Sally Gillich - Southern Adirondack Library System
    • CLRC:
      • Beverly Choltco-Devlin - Mid-York Library System
      • Colleen Kehoe-Robinson - Mohawk Valley Community College
    • NNYLN:
      • Joan Pellikka - North Country Library System
      • Mara Thacker - Paul Smith's College
    • SCRLC:
      • Bill Drew - Tompkins Cortland Community College
      • Nora Hardy - South Central Regional Library Council
    • WNYLRC:
      • Andy Yeager - Medaille College
      • Dawn Peters - Buffalo & Erie County Library
  • WNYLRC's Regional Advisory Committee oversees the financial aspects of the service.

Marketing and Publicity

Participating in Ask Us 24/7

Interested libraries should contact Jaclyn McKewan, Virtual Services & Training Librarian at 716-633-0705 X106 or jmckewan@wnylrc.org

Benefits:

When compared to providng virtual reference services on their own, libraries have found that it is far less costly and requires less staff hours to participate in the regional Ask Us 24/7 service.

  • Lower costs
  • Less staffing requirements
  • Free ongoing training and free promotional materials to publicize the service to their patrons
  • Use of the state of the art chat and follow-up software for conducting the service (not your ordinary instant messaging)
  • Sophisticated reporting and statistical tools
  • Opportunity to directly contribute to the direction and quality of the serivce
  • Access to subject experts both locally and nationally
  • Direct links from a participating library's website to the Ask Us 24/7 service logo for patrons twenty-four hours a day, 7 days per week

Required Library Information

Librarians whose library are interested in joining the project will need to provide the following information before participating on the VR desk:

Library Policy Page: All participating libraries must provide a policy page for their library to make available to librarians participating in the service to assist in helping your patrons.

Library Scripts: All participating libraries must provide pre-designed scripts that can be used by other participating libraries when answering your library's patrons. These scripts usually provide information on commonly asked questions regarding borrowing and borrowing limits, library card information, hours, reserves, and more. See Ask Us 24/7 Example Scripts

Librarian(s) Contact and Statistics Information: To create a User ID and password for participating librarians, the Ask Us 24/7 Project Manager needs complete contact information for each.

Librarian Workstation:

Recommended Specs and Setup Information: (subject to change)

  • Minimum 256MB RAM, 512 MB RAM preferred
  • 256 mhz, Pentium III , 750 mhz Penitum IV processor preferred
    Internet Explorer 6 or 7
  • XP Professional
  • High-speed Internet connection: DSL, T-1, Cable modem
  • 17" monitor (or 15" LCD panel) with 1024x768 screen depth
  • Adobe Flash Player 9
  • Librarians will also need to complete the set-up by confirming that the settings in their browser are correct.

Fees and hours requirements:

Contact Jaclyn McKewan, Virtual Services & Training Librarian at 716-633-0705 x106 or jmckewan@wnylrc.org for a quote. Please provide the following information:

  • Population served (for public libraries) or student FTE (for academic libraries)
  • Librarian FTE number (similar to student FTE number - this includes the number of full-time librarians, and also counts half-time librarians as .5, etc.)
  • Total materials budget figure (this includes both print purchases and electronic database subscriptions)
  • Virtual Reference Resources

    See the Ask Us 24/7 Virtual Reference Resources Page

     
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