[Libs-Or] Answerland Notable Transcript Award

Stephanie Debner stephanie.debner at gmail.com
Wed Oct 31 09:24:10 PDT 2012

Answerland, Oregon's Statewide Virtual Reference Service (
www.answerland.org/), recognizes Emily Ford at Portland State University
Library for her excellent virtual reference work while staffing the service
in August 2012. Emily’s transcript is online at:

In this transcript, the patron asked for help in requesting a book from the
Mt. Angel Public Library for pick up at the Silver Falls Library District.
Emily conducted a brief reference interview with the patron to find out
where the patron was in the process, including requesting the URL of the
page where the patron was trying to place the hold, so they both could
(literally) be on the same page. Emily determined that the patron was
looking at a record for an e-book. After clarifying that a print version
was what was desired, Emily walked the patron through how to make the
request, asking questions as they went along to make sure the patron was
with her at each step. The patron was able to place the hold, and thanked
Emily effusively and with many exclamation points (!!!!!!!). She concluded
the chat with an offer of more help, which the patron declined.

The Quality Team is impressed with Emily’s interaction with the patron
throughout this chat. Though the request seemed straightforward, Emily took
the time to conduct a reference interview to make sure that she and the
patron were starting off from the same point. She explained to the patron
why the patron was having trouble requesting the title, and took ownership
of using “librarian speak” when the patron was confused about the
distinction between an e-book and a print version. Emily let the patron set
the tone of the interaction: it was clear early on that the patron was a
big fan of exclamation points and emoticons, which Emily easily matched.

As an expression of our appreciation, Emily was presented with flowers and
a certificate at the ACRL-OR/WA Fall Conference at Menucha. Please join us
in congratulating her!

The Answerland Quality Team

Stephanie Debner, Mt. Hood Community College Library

Barbara O’Neill, Washington County Cooperative Library Services

Emily Papagni, Multnomah County Library
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