[Libs-Or] help rename L-net - the short list - RESULTS

Caleb Tucker-Raymond calebt at multcolib.org
Fri Dec 9 13:29:49 PST 2011


Thanks to everyone who answered our survey about renaming L-net! I've
closed the survey now and I wanted to share the results.

The top vote-getter is "Ask the Librarians", with 40% of the 277 (!) people
who voted approving. We won't necessarily go with this choice, but your
feedback does help guide us.

Ask the Librarians 111 40%
Answerland    99 36%
My Library Live    85 31%
Just Ask      79 29%
Hello Library   78 28%
Mybrarian      62 22%
AnswersOnCall   47 17%
Answer Cafe   45 16%
InstaHelp     23 8%
Pop a Question   17 6%
AnswerWell    15 5%

Keep in mind, with 40% being the top result, whatever we pick is going to
annoy at least 60% of you. However, I firmly believe that all of these
names are better than "L-net".

There are some interesting results depending on library type - see the
L-net blog at

The next step is to get feedback from patrons. We've eliminated the bottom
5 results, anything that got less than 20% support, so we're down to 6.
Here is why they are good and why they are bad:

*Ask the Librarians* - our "meat and potatoes"; this is the most basic
description of L-net and of reference. It is boring, but it is true. It
matches the way similar services are described worldwide. One issue though
is that patrons don't necessarily know that reference services exist - many
do, of course, but I hear from a lot of people that think we can only
answer questions about books. So if we want to really highlight and promote
reference service, we have to do more to spell out that we answer all kinds
of questions.

*Answerland* - the original name for our service, the name sparks us to
imagine a place where any and every question is answered. It evokes the
collaborative nature of statewide reference - every library is a part of
Answerland. We even already own the domain name. On the negative side, some
people feel the name evokes something for kids, though the logo we had
belied that idea pretty well, and truthfully, at least half of the people
using L-net *are* kids.

*My Library Live* - "My" implies a personal connection and "live"
demonstrates the immediate and human-centered aspects of the service. The
word 'my' as part of a product or service is familiar to most people using
personal computers, implying privacy and control. The main concern is that
it doesn't demonstrate that the "live" human is there to answer reference

*Just Ask* - "Just ask" is both a command and an invitation. No one is
going to wonder whether they are allowed to use the service or not, or
whether or not their question is appropriate. Some librarians feel strongly
that we should have the word 'library' or 'librarian' in the name, to to
capitalize on our collective brand or demonstrate to patrons where the
service is coming from (keeping in mind that librarians previously said a
name should more describe what the service does than who delivers it). Of
all of the names we're considering, this one might be the hardest to
establish an online identity for, since all of the related domains are
owned by Ask.com.

*Hello Library *- Come start a conversation with the library. "Hello" is
both a formal and an informal greeting, and the name embraces all of what
L-net delivers, chat, email and texting, as well as support for reference,
account questions and help using your new e-reader. It embraces the
patron's idea of what they want to talk about with the library. For some of
you, the first thing you think of when you see this phrase is "Hello Kitty"
(and for all but one of you who brought this up, that was a negative
thing). It also suffers some from not spelling out the question and answer
part of our service - though I think it does convey "conversation" very
well, and that is perhaps preferable.

*Mybrarian* - My librarian. As with "My Library Live", the word "my"
conveys to the patron that this service is personal, private and in their
control. "Librarian" tells them a real live person is on the other end and
that it is coming from the library. Like "Hello Library", the service is
open to all kinds of questions but doesn't necessarily demonstrate how
reference service usually works. Some of you pointed out it was awkward,
and I admit I couldn't grok the word at first until I said it out loud.
Caleb Tucker-Raymond

Statewide Reference Service Coordinator
Multnomah County Library
(503) 988-5438
calebt at multco.us
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