Bruce Preslan reported that
- Have an ongoing interest in a topic? You can get relevant article alerts using RSS.
- H.W. Wilson's Art Museum Image Gallery offers an abundance of copyright-cleared images for educational purposes. The database features artworks from major museums from across the globe.
- No habla ingles? H.W Wilson features a translation service for their articles.
- The current issues database is a jumping point for full-text, unbiased articles about current events and hot issues. It also offers links to a host of websites H.W. Wilson has screened for quality and authority.
- Not sure if you should purchase that graphic novel? Check out Wilson's Graphic Novel Core Collection.
- Everyone loves full text... Search Reader's Guide Retro to find the articles you want, and then click on the link to the H.W. Wilson index to get the full-text article.
Mary Elizabeth Gano, Melissa Harter and Erin McCaffrey shared details about how their mentoring process increases the quality of their virtual reference (Librarians by Request). Tutor.com currently employs approximately 30 librarians, and 6 mentors. The mentors essentially ascertain that Tutor's virtual librarians are doing a bang-up job. Their evaluation criteria is based on the RUSA guidelines, client/library feedback, and most especially, reference session transcript review and feedback.
OCLC's QuestionPoint 24/7 Reference
Lauri McIntosh presented info about OCLC's QuestionPoint service, it offers:
- Reports & admin functions- surveys, quality measures, transcript reviews, and patron satisfaction
- Knowledge Base- previous searches that might prove useful in answering the question at hand.
- Global Reference Network- tough questions are sent out to a collection of global libraries, so it gets the expert treatment.
- 24/7 live reference- another opportunity to join up with a reference collective, so you don't have to man your virtual reference desk at 3 am.
QuestionPoint does not require patrons to download anything. No plug-ins either. Co-browsing does require Internet Explorer. Otherwise, patrons can start up the browser of their choice to use QuestionPoint. Librarians do need to use IE when they are answering online reference questions.
OCLC's QuestionPoint 24/7 reference cooperative includes 1400+ libraries in the U.S. and U.K. 14 states have signed on to use QuestionPoint for their state-wide 24/7 reference service. The coop employs 24/7 reference policies, standards and best practices.
Like Tutor.com (above), QuestionPoint incorporates quality control and mentoring, to make sure virtual librarians are following best practices.
QuestionPoint offers ongoing training, online classes (which are archived, in case you miss the live class), web-based tutorials and a QuestionPoint wiki and blog.
The Ovid and Greenwood Press presentations were canceled.