[Libs-Or] L-net Notable Transcript

Emily PAPAGNI emilyp at multco.us
Thu Jan 5 15:30:19 PST 2012


L-net, Oregon's Statewide Digital Reference Service
(http://www.oregonlibraries.net), recognizes Steph Miller at Multnomah
County Library for her high quality virtual reference work while
staffing the service in December 2011.  Steph’s transcript is online


This transcript begins as a simple telephone directory lookup; it is
the kind of ready reference question that people supposedly don't ask
libraries anymore, because, "everything is on the internet". An
out-of-state patron asks for the phone number of a Sherwood resident.
Steph quickly finds the phone number and confirms that it is the
correct number using a second, authoritative source. What really
impressed the Quality Team is the nature of the conversation that took
place. The patron told Steph that he was trying to reach the son of a
Vietnam War Prisoner-of-War. The patron had the father's POW bracelet
and wanted to be sure a family member received it. While still
chatting online with Steph, the patron called the number. In tears, he
spoke with a family member while Steph remained online in support.

In the early 1970s over 5 million POW/MIA metal bracelets were made
and worn as a symbol of hope.  The bracelets transcended politics and
were worn by Americans both opposed to and supportive of the Vietnam

The Quality Team always emphasizes the importance of a friendly,
welcoming tone in virtual reference. It was the conversation between
Steph and the patron that made what could have just been just another
lookup into a meaningful connection with the library. Librarians often
talk about how libraries change lives. With Steph's blend of reference
skill and compassion, she proves it.

As an expression of our appreciation, Steph was presented with flowers
and a certificate.  Please join us in congratulating her!

The L-net Quality Team

Stephanie Debner, Portland Community College Library
Barbara O’Neill, Washington County Cooperative Library Services
Emily Papagni, Multnomah County Library

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