[Libs-Or] Answerland Notable Transcript Award

Emily PAPAGNI emilyp at multco.us
Tue Apr 8 11:21:53 PDT 2014


Answerland, Oregon's Statewide Virtual Reference service
(http://www.answerland.org), recognizes Oregon Health & Science
University Library (OHSU) for the excellent virtual reference work
performed by all the OHSU reference librarians. Two exemplary
transcripts are at


We're breaking with our practice of giving notable transcript awards
to a single librarian and instead we are presenting an award to all
the OHSU reference librarians.

OHSU Library has been a valued partner library since the Answerland
pilot project began in 2003. After a short stint staffing the chat
service OHSU librarians opted to focus on what they do best - acting
as trusted experts answering medical research and health information
reference questions.

Many of the questions that we refer to OHSU are questions from
students doing research. We also know that in some cases, we receive
questions from library patrons who are contacting the library because
they or someone close to them has recently been diagnosed with a
serious illness. In their moment of crisis, OHSU librarians are a
resource for treatment information and support resources for specific
medical conditions.

We've seen impressive answers and we're highlighting 2 transcripts.

The first transcript that we are highlighting is one in which the
patron came to Answerland via email last August to ask for advice
about doing a search for information on green hospitals and to ask if
being a green hospital has an impact on an individual's decision to be
a patient at that hospital.

The Quality Team is impressed with Loree Hyde's thorough answer. She
provided information that addressed both facets of the patron's
question. She listed relevant subject headings and keywords to search,
and added details regarding the databases she had searched. To help
the patron assess if these were the types of desired, relevant
resources, Loree created a short annotated bibliography and attached
it to her response. When the patron asked a clarifying question, Loree
not only answered the question, but provided the patron with an
alternate search option and included a screen shot of what that search
looked like in the relevant database.

The Quality Team commends Loree for her use of authoritative sources
and for providing the patron with exactly what she needed: strategies
for research. Loree went above and beyond for the patron by attaching
documents that indicated sources found and that demonstrated a
successful search on the patron's topic. She employed a friendly tone
and invited the patron to respond to the email if the patron had
further questions.

The second transcript that we are highlighting is one in which Jackie
Wirz sent an answer to a question about the top 15-20 childhood
illnesses and the top 15-20 childhood surgeries, both in the U.S. and
globally. After the patron chatted with another Answerland staffer,
the question was put into follow-up for an email answer. When Jackie
picked up the question in email follow up, she collaborated with other
OHSU librarians to research the question. In the answer sent, Jackie
confirmed that two of the sources that had been provided in chat were
the most comprehensive information sources for this query. She
explained to the patron why it was not possible to find a single
source with the data that the patron needed. Jackie then provided
several links to specific pages at the Centers for Disease Control and
the Data Resource Center for Child and Adolescent Health, and pointed
out the limitations of each source. She greeted the patron and
concluded the email in a friendly manner.

As an expression of our appreciation, OHSU librarians were presented
with flowers and a certificate. Please join us in congratulating them!

The Answerland Quality Team

Stephanie Debner, Mt. Hood Community College Library
Joanna Millner, Multnomah County Library
Hillary Ostlund, Hillsboro Public Library
Emily Papagni, Multnomah County Library

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