[Libs-Or] dealing with uptick in Library2Go
mcole at ci.oregon-city.or.us
Mon Dec 19 08:32:48 PST 2011
My documentation may have been lost in translation. Here is what I meant to send:
HOW TO HANDLE UPTICK IN LIBRARY2GO
RESPSONES FROM LIBS-OR
Oregon City: We have had one training event for patrons and have another one scheduled for January 12. We have brochures that our staff has created in an effort to simplify as much as possible. Currently most questions are directed to two in-house 'experts' when possible; they are often able to get off desk to help patrons. Questions are also answered at the Reference Desk. We have had one staff training, but need more. Ideas: online tutorials, use volunteers in demonstration sessions, add training to reference desk and direct patrons to that desk, purchase another laptop for demo download station; set up specific training times during the day, make appointments, collate info about training sessions in other LINCC libraries.
We do get a lot of questions but it helps a lot that we have the Library2Go classes and can recommend them to patrons. We have had a few requests for classes at times that are convenient for people with day jobs. I also think the handouts on downloading Kindles that we printed for have been helpful to patrons.
I think we are ahead of the game by offering our weekly ereader workshops. Nevertheless, we still get a fair number of people who require personal attention for their ereader questions and problems and those are time consuming. When it is really busy I have made appointments for people to come back and figure things out at a better time. It also helps to have several staff members "kindle trained" to answer questions as they arise.
-have you seen an increase in Library2Go traffic?
Generally we haven't seen much change in traffic, but we have seen a change in the nature of the questions. We get more questions now about getting started than tech troubleshooting. More front line staff are prepared to handle the getting started questions, so it's easier for us to handle them on the spot.
-which service area typically handles these questions?
Adult services reference staff handle the bulk of the questions. Branch staff also get questions. Fortunately, we have several staff members who are "experts" with Library2Go and able to handle questions that go beyond what all reference staff are trained to know. We encourage patrons to use the email tech support.
-what if the conversation gets really lengthy?
When possible, we work with the patron until the problem is solved. In a bigger system like ours, we can generally handle it. In a smaller system, I recommend setting up an appointment for a future time. We've discussed if it would be helpful to have a specially trained, computer savvy, eBook enthusiast volunteer to help carry some of this load. The volunteer could be scheduled by appointment or be available at certain times.
-do you ever schedule appointments for this or defer phone calls to another time?
Yes, this is fairly common for more involved questions, for questions about technical problems, or for those who want to bring in their device.
We offer classes and I think that helps lessen the time spent with individuals. We have put together a lot of resources online<http://eugene.libguides.com/ebooks> that staff and patrons can refer to. Those resources include how to get started by device and links to videos. Often we will verbally walk a patron through the basics and show them our online guide, thus giving them the basics to set themselves up at home. Not all patrons can handle this, but many can. We encourage them to ask for more help if needed.
The questions we get fall into three main categories: 1) What device should I buy?, 2) How does Library2Go work with my device?, and 3) specific technical troubleshooting. Our resource guide addresses all three categories.
Suggestions for managing staff time spent with Library2Go patrons:
For technical help, encourage the use of the email tech support.
For walking through Library2Go from start to finish with a patron and their device, think about making appointments and/or recruiting a very special volunteer.
For questions about the service and getting started (patron's device is at home), walk them through the My Help section of Library2Go and/or point them to other online resources.
For questions about choosing an eReader, point them to online resources (like ours<http://eugene.libguides.com/content.php?pid=163485&sid=1380695>) that ask questions particular to their own intended use of a device and that offer video product comparisons.
Lake County Library District:
We, too, have seen an increase in questions and assistance required about Library2Go (especially for e-readers!), and also find that some conversations can be quite lengthy. So far we, or rather I should say I, have just born it and given help as needed. Fortunately, our population is small enough that I can do this and manage it as the number of people that need more help than the 5 minutes I can give them at the desk is actually pretty small so far. I do schedule a time with patrons that will require more time, especially those that will need to download and install Adobe Digital Editions. I often schedule a time that we can talk on the phone where they can be at their computer while we're talking. I've even used TeamViewer (www.teamviewer.com<http://www.teamviewer.com>) when a patron has been willing so I can see what they see on the computer. (I've only done this with patrons I know well, but it was really helpful for me as a learning experience.)
Since many of these patrons are our longest standing and best readers, it makes sense for me to take the extra time with them to help them figure out this 'new-fangled' technology. Plus, it's had the added bonus of helping me develop my own familiarity with the different processes used for the different e-readers out there. Lastly, it seems that the more of our patrons that know how to do it, the more they help each other figure it out without calling the library. :)
We just set up an E-reader Petting Zoo program next week for patrons to get their hands on the different types of e-readers out there before they make their holiday purchases. We've had a lot of questions about what to purchase in the last couple of weeks. After the holidays, depending on the numbers of questions we get, we are considering doing 'classes' on how to get your e-reader working with Library2Go. For both the petting zoo and the classes, we would rely on the good will of our patrons to bring in their devices and laptops so that we can hook up to the projector and show people all the steps. Having given so much earlier help has really enabled us to now lean back on our patrons for these programs.
The Kindle thing is out of control, I agree! We have some support from WCCLS but they have recently limited what they offer. They used to call patrons directly, but now handle everything through email which is pretty unsatisfactory to the patron (especially when they don't get a reply over the weekend.)
We have two drop-in computer labs each week led by volunteers, and they have been trained to assist with Library2Go. That works well for the person who has a new device and is willing to sit through a demonstration. Not as helpful for the person trying to troubleshoot in mid-download.
Yes! Here in Beaverton at the Adult References and Telephone Reference desks we are seeing an uptick on these kinds of calls and walk-in requests. We often will refer them to our county help desk and to the help pages online, but also end up spending quite a bit of one-on-one time with these patrons. We are holding our first ever workshop on eReaders in response to this demand, but of course, most people want help right away! I believe that the Circ desk does not handle these types of questions but refers to us. I think we will probably schedule more workshops and refer folks to that.
I will be interested in hearing the results of your query!
Mo: here is what we do---and yes, we have seen a huge increase in need and time:
* Demo Day helps and our demo day was very successful. I am happy to send details to you.
* We talk a name and phone number and tell them the Library2Go expert will call at the earliest convenience. It sounds more formal than it is. It is basically someone trained and off desk. The conversations were lasting up to 30 minutes.
* We are also talking about BOOK AN EXPERT. Patrons can call and make an appointment to do a variety of things with a staff person or volunteer (eventually) including Library2Go.
* We also have great bookmarks made by staff that are a great help and I believe are now available online for patrons to use.
-have you seen an increase in Library2Go traffic? Yes
-which service area typically handles these questions? Reference
-what if the conversation gets really lengthy? We have enough backup that we can usually have another person come out to help at the reference desk
-do you ever schedule appointments for this or defer phone calls to another time? Yes!
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mcole at orcity.org<mailto:mcole at ci.oregon-city.or.us>
Oregon City Public Library
606 John Adams Street
Oregon City, Oregon 97045
503-657-8269 ext 1010
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