[Libs-Or] Sleepless in Salem? - a Job Opportunity!

Robert Schroeder schroedr at pdx.edu
Mon Mar 19 14:02:02 PDT 2012

Hello All,

I just got wind of a request process going on to staff L-Net after hours 
(see below) . It's kind of late in the game for this year - the 
proposals are due by Friday March 30th, and the last day for questions 
to Sue Robinson ( 503 988 3355) is this Friday, March 23rd. If you call 
Sue Robinson you can get a copy of the full Request for Proposals and 
also a spread sheet of the times that need to be covered as well as the 
number of questions that typically happen during those hours.

  I just thought it would be great for an enterprising Oregon Librarian 
to put together a proposal  that might help keep more librarians in 
Oregon working - and doing great L-Net work at that!

-Bob Schroeder

*Request for Intermediate Proposals (RIP)
for Virtual Reference Service Provider

March 1, 2012

PROPOSALS DUE: Friday, March 30, 2012  4:00 PM PT

Refer Questions in Writing to:

Sue Robinson
Senior Procurement Analyst
205 NE Russell Street
503-988-3355 Fax 503-988-5511
suer at multcolib.org
* *The last day for questions regarding this solicitation is Friday, 
March 23, 2012-- 2:00 PM PT

**Submit Proposals to the Attention of:
Multnomah County
Department of Libraries
Attention  Sue Robinson
205 NE Russell Street
503-988-3355 Fax 503-988-5511
suer at multcolib.org*
Proposals by fax, Proposals by email

Here is the first part of the RIP:

INTRODUCTION:   Beginning in 2003, The Multnomah County Library (MCL) 
received a Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant from the 
Oregon State Library to coordinate a statewide virtual reference 
service, L-net. L-net provides access to a reference librarian via live 
chat, text messaging and e-mail to everyone who lives, works or goes to 
school in Oregon. 39 libraries in Oregon work together to deliver the 
service roughly Monday-Friday, 9am-8pm Pacific Time, plus some weekend 
hours, and a virtual reference service provider extends the hours to 24 
hours a day, 7 days a week.
The Library is seeking a virtual reference service provider to extend 
the hours to 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for July 1 2012 to June 30, 
2013. The provider should employ librarians who have experience in 
libraries as well as experience providing virtual reference. The 
provider and their employees should be willing to follow L-net's service 
philosophy (www.oregonlibraries.net/philosophy) and rubric for quality 
in virtual reference (http://www.oregonlibraries.net/notable) when 
delivering virtual reference service to L-net patrons.

SCOPE OF WORK: The Library currently provides virtual reference service 
via live chat, e-mail and text messaging. The Library is seeking to 
contract a virtual reference service provider to deliver chat and text 
messaging reference service through our SparkRef instant messaging 
client, as well as new formats that can be integrated into that client 
in the future.
SparkRef is a modified version of Spark from Jive Software. It is a 
Java-based instant messaging client and is available for Windows, 
Macintosh and Linux. It can be downloaded from 
www.oregonlibraries.net/spark and test logins are available upon request.

The library seeks staffing (all times Pacific): Sunday: Midnight to 
1:59pm, 7:00pm to 11:59pm
Monday -- Thursday: Midnight to 8:59am, 8:00pm to 11:59pm
Friday: Midnight to 8:59am, 5:00pm to 11:59pm
Saturday: Midnight to 9:59am, 2:00pm to 11:59pm

For these hours, our service is generally busiest during the school year 
(mid-September to June) during the hours of our local coverage, 9am-8pm. 
The rest of the time, traffic averages fewer than five patrons per hour. 
Attached is a spreadsheet detailing traffic by hour on our service from 
February 1, 2011 to January 31, 2012, and broken out by weekends vs. 

In delivering service, librarians will follow L-net's service philosophy 
(www.oregonlibraries.net/philosophy) and rubric for quality in virtual 
reference (http://www.oregonlibraries.net/notable). Specifically, 
librarians will:

1.    Respond to queries in a reasonable amount of time. Patrons should 
wait less than one minute for service.

2.    Greet patrons with a friendly and welcoming tone.

3.    Conduct a reference interview to clarify the patron's request.

4.    Use authoritative sources to answer questions, including licensed 
resources available to Oregon citizens. The Library will provide access 
to these for the contractor.

5.    Ask follow-up questions to confirm the patron's needs are met.

6.    Offer additional help to each patron.

7.    Offer to refer patrons to L-net's follow-up service when questions 
can't be answered in live chat. The SparkRef software provides an easy 
way to refer patrons to local or subject expect librarians.


  Robert Schroeder
  Education and University Studies Librarian,
  Coordinator of Library General Education Instruction
  Associate Professor
  Portland State University

  503.725.4519 phone
  503.725.4524 fax
  schroedr at pdx.edu

  P.O Box 1151
  Portland OR 97207-1151

  280F Millar Library

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