Florida_Library_Association_Conference_Thompson by chenshu


									Florida Library Association Conference
Lake Buena Vista, Florida     April 20, 2006

     Let’s Provide a Chat Service that They
     Want! A Focus on Teens to

     Joe Thompson
     Project Coordinator: Maryland AskUsNow!
     Baltimore County Public Library
     410-887-6124 / jthompso@bcpl.net
Have you noticed the
growth of IM?
84% of people ages 18-29 use the Internet
 Pew Internet and American Life Project. Demographics of Internet Users.
 [December 5, 2005] (Accessed 4/18/2006)

53 million American adults use instant messaging
 and its appeal is especially apparent among
 young adults and technology enthusiasts.

24% of them swap IMs more frequently than email.

IM also gains a following in U.S. Workplaces.
 Pew Internet and American Life Project. How Americans use instant messaging.
 [September 1, 2004] (Accessed 7/11/2005)
What do we even call
this group?

Internet Generation
                                                     The Digital Generation
Echo Boomers
                                                                                Generation Y
   The Nintendo Generation
                                                     The Sunshine Generation

                          Millennials (born 1978-1994)
Sweeney, Richard T. “Creating WOW! Library Services for a New Generation.” (2004) Select link to “Millennial.”
  (Accessed 7/11/2005)
What do we even call
this group?

 But really, who cares what
 we call them?

     Let’s just make sure to
     provide them good quality
What do we hope to
cover here?

1. What have teens in this age group told
   us? What would they like?

2. How can we reach this audience and
   make them aware of the service?

3. Recommendations for communicating

4. They might want to prank us! How can we
   identify and address inappropriate
We need to pay attention -
This is a big user group!

3030 Maryland AskUsNow! surveys
January – June 2005
 Student (K-12): 44.36%
 Student (College): 12.05%

A Glance at Usage
 Oct. ’04 April ’05 July ’05 Nov ’05
  4399      5959     1867     4119
One focus group /w usability

July 23, 2004

   Louise Greene (AACC) and Joe met at Anne Arundel
    Community College with a group of five 17-18 year olds
   All savvy using Internet and Instant Messaging
   Informal discussion: Questions about research process
   There was pizza… in the lab!

Into the computer lab…

   Teens had the opportunity to use their college’s VR service
    or Maryland AskUsNow!
   Then, they told us what they thought
Teen Research Habits

 Always   start with the internet

 Check   (15+) several sites to gather ideas

 Look   for “credible” information

 Look   for expedient information

 Opportunity   to cut and paste
Teen IM/Chat Preferences

 Anonymitya plus – they like to use multiple
 screen names

 Liketo converse with more than one person at
 a time

 Someone     is always “on”

 No   “dead air”

 Can    use abbreviations/casual text
Teens’ First Encounter with VR

 Assumed    it was NOT a live service

 Whywould the library have people waiting
 around to answer questions?? Don’t librarians
 have other things they need to be doing??

 Do   prefer live service over email

 What is the librarian doing on the other end -
Teens’ First Encounter with VR

 “WHO” is reading my question – privacy

 Don’t   want to give an email – prefer anonymity

 Makethe login option of “Anonymous”
Ideal VR service:
The Teen Perspective

 Make    it like an Instant Messenger (IM)

 Put    newest message at the bottom of screen

 Tell   more people about it

 Have    more librarians so that it goes faster

 Have both a chat and a text (IM) interface
 available to choose from
Ideal VR service:
The Teen Perspective

 Theywould want...
 Personal Service & An Ongoing Relationship

      Ability to request a certain librarian

      Ability to get back to the librarian who
       gave good service

      Ability to avoid an unhelpful librarian

      An opportunity to rate librarian as an
       incentive for them to provide great service
BTW, where do u
stand on netspeak?

Some helpful
netspeak resources:

Internet abbreviations and terms:

Presentation on the topic:
 Rawson, Joseph and Gillespie, Caroline. “Netspeak and
 the future of the online reference session.” Presentation
 given at the University of Maryland College Park, April 5,
 2006. Earlier presentation on same topic can be found at:
Before we talk about             Maryland AskUsNow!
marketing and promotion,
here’s some relevant service    Launched March 17, 2003
background:                     27 partner library systems:
                                 Academic, Public, & Special
                                Staffed by over 250 librarians
                                 in Maryland for 266 hours each
                                First statewide participant in
                                 24/7 Reference cooperative
                                Maryland customers
                                 accounted for 25% of all 24/7
                                 Reference usage
                                Now participates in
                                 QuestionPoint 24/7 Reference
                                120,000 questions to date!

                         Launched January 2004
                         InfoEyes is a question and
                          answer service for people with
                          a visual impairment or other
also participates in…     print limitation
                         People can ask a question
                          about anything
                         Questions may be:
                            • E-mailed via webform
                              using QuestionPoint
                            • Voice Over IP by request!
                         Joe is the current InfoEyes
                          secretary and may be
                          contacted for info about
How we have
                                             Grand Opening
promoted AskUsNow!                           March 17, 2003

                                        Press release
• Grand opening 
                                        Phone calls to local papers,
• Getting a link on every library        radio, and TV
home page (negotiate for “above         Postcard invitations to state
the fold”)                               and local government
• Rocking memo holders, keychain
highlighters, pencils, post-it pads,    Event with a big cake
summer reading club question            First “official” question
“prompt” cards, a TV commercial         A librarian in robe and bunny
and of course… bookmarks!                slippers

• Staff pins during 1-year              Attendance by local media
anniversary: “Let me answer that.”      FREE publicity! It’s new once!
  Local promotion:
  Each partner library has a
  project liaison who…

1. Represents the partner       6. Maintains the currency of
   library at meetings & on the    local library information
   listserv                        used by the cooperative

2. Reports training needs       7. Contributes
3. Monitors local performance     enthusiasm and
4. Maintains scheduling and       energy to make the
   arranges substitutes           project a success!
5. Monitors usage
  Get staff and
  support: They’ll
  help promote it.

1. Before joining as a partner, the director of the library
   must sign a “Letter of Intent.”
2. Each librarian who provides the service must attend a
   one-day training class where we not only look at the
   software and deduce the best VR model behaviors, but
   hope that staff will embrace the service’s statewide
   culture (i.e. customer service, quality, innovation)
3. Project Liaisons attend quarterly in-person meetings
                                   6. Library closing
  Promotion                           announcement
  techniques used
                                   7. Door of library when closed
  by partner
                                   8. Telephone hold message
                                   9. Print receipts
1. On the web
   - Library web site (all over)   10. E-mail newsletter
   - Local Government
                                   11. Calendar of programs
   - K-12 school pages
   - Local non-profits             12. School paper/newsletter
2. School media orientations       13. Show commercial in
                                     branch and ask local cable
3. College/faculty orientations
                                     to show as a PSA (This can
4. Library instruction classes       really work!)
5. Public computer classes         14. Business cards
More on how we’ve tried
to establish realistic
expectations in our
marketing to younger
people a little later…
Chat communication:
Research Recommendations

                Early research results were presented by Marie L. Radford, Ph.D.
       Marie    at “Hmmm...Just a Moment While I Keep Looking" Interpersonal
                Communication in Chat Reference, during the RUSA 10th Annual
                Reference Research Forum, ALA Annual 2005, Orlando, Florida,
      Radford   June 23-30, 2005
“Please Hury It Up Thanks”
Research Recommendations


Provide reassurance / Be encouraging:
“That’s a great question - we should be able to find
 something on this!”
“Great! Glad that page came though.”

Build rapport:
 Admit when you don’t know something

 Be empathetic when they show frustration

 Indicate your approval: “That’s great!” “You’re
  definitely on the right track!”
“Please Hury It Up Thanks”
Research Recommendations

More Highlights
 Mirror their level of formality/informality and their
  style (i.e. abbreviations and emoticons) as
  appropriate, of course!
   Use polite expressions: “Thanks!” “You’re
    welcome” “Oops!”
   Scripted messages can often sound robotic no
    matter how well written. Always give a personal
    greeting and closing: “Hi Susan, this is Joe, a
    librarian at…” “Bye!”
   If it’s busy or the question is challenging, be
    honest with them about how long it might take.
“Please Hury It Up Thanks”
Recommendations on Rudeness

Defuse problematic encounters:

   Do not mirror rude behavior! “Why don’t you grow
   Do not reprimand rude behavior, as it often provokes
    more rudeness (flaming). Customer: “I DON’T have a
    card.” Librarian: “You don’t have to shout.”
   Do not take the rude behavior personally.

   Do let them know realistically how long it might take
    when they are impatient.
   Do apologize as appropriate. “Sorry you had to wait so
    long there! It’s been really busy today.”
   Do be polite and professional at all times.
Librarian behaviors that I see
leading to negative interactions

   Librarian begins exchange with a “we don’t” or a
    “we can’t” (We should always reflect first on what
    we can do!)

   Librarian lets several minutes go by without
    explanation of what’s happening on their side:
    Unexplained silence. (Keep them informed)

   Impression of scolding: i.e. “We won’t do your
    homework for you.” (Why? The student’s teacher
    may have said that we would help. Let’s tell them
    what we will do instead.)
Inappropriate Behavior:
What can we do about it?

 Improve      our online communication
 Scripted     messages? (Maybe, but only to give a
 standard voice. Overly scripted messages can seem robotic.)

 Establish      expectations at login
 Establish      expectations in promotion
 Establishstandards with staff about
 what really is “inappropriate”
Inappropriate Behavior:
How much is it happening?

To see how much it was happening, we
   looked at all 899 sessions from a
   normal week, March 21-27, 2004.
   These were coded:

(1) appropriate:                  815 / 90.7%
(2) hurried/rude (but real q.):   27 / 3%
(3) goofing around:               34 / 3.8%
(4) inappropriate language:       23 / 2.6%
Inappropriate Behavior:

Script Name: Hurry Up Demands
 It seems you need an answer in the next
 minute. Unfortunately that's not possible.
 Right now I'm looking at many Web pages
 to find the one you need. This takes some
 time. Here are your options: (1) Please
 verify your e-mail address and we'll send a
 response later, (2) end the call and come
 back later when you have more time, or (3)
 thank you for your patience while I search
 for your answer now.
Inappropriate Behavior:

Script Name: Rude Behavior
 I would like to help you find your answer,
 but you will need to demonstrate patience
 while we search. We do not tolerate any
 kind of rude behavior from people who
 visit our service. Would you like to
Inappropriate Behavior:

Establish expectations at login:

See the service Welcome/Login screen:
Inappropriate Behavior:

Establish expectations in promotion:

1.   Although live and in real-time, answers are not
     instant. It usually takes at least 5 minutes and
     often longer for the librarian to find exactly what
     you need.

2.   The service often gets very busy. If you contact
     the service at one of these busy times, your
     librarian may suggest writing you back later by
     e-mail so that you don’t have to wait online.

3.   Your librarian will likely ask you questions to
     make sure you get exactly what you need.
Inappropriate Behavior:

Establish expectations in promotion:

4.   Like in a library, the same standards of
     respectful behavior apply. If you are rude, you
     won’t receive any help.

5.   As you type in your question, please give as
     much detail as you can. Here’s a good example
     of a question someone sent:
        “I’m in 8th grade and writing a paper about
     the crusades. I don’t know where to start. Can
     you help me find some good websites?”
What is “inappropriate” usage?


      If you saw the following
    comments or questions in a
    live transaction, would you
            end the call?

Can you hurry it up?

I’m pregnant, my
 boyfriend is gay,
 and I want to die.

How old are you?

What the f*ck is
taking so long?

What are you stupid?

C’mon b*tch, I don’t
 have all day.


Why don’t you get a
real job.

I hate this web site!

la la la la la la
 waiting patiently
 I’m waiting la la la
 la la la waiting…
 aren’t I waiting

Yo dawg

Hey I need a date
 this weekend. You
 wanna’ go out?

I need a lay, you
 wanna do it?

This computer is

I need this info NOW.

My last librarian was
 rude to me.

Where to babies
come from?

hello...how are you today? i
 was wondering if my sweat
 glands are over processing
 to much sweat because
 right now i am sweating
 like crazy!

Why you so grumpy?

Are you a man or a

I have to go in a few

Damn it’s you again.

Are you smoking

does play station
 destroy your
 brain?...if so

Can I have a hug?
Inappropriate how?

 What elements made them “Inappropriate?”

Let’s let these elements guide us as we develop
            “inappropriate use” policies.

   A policy will help our librarians understand
  when the line has been crossed, or when just
     a little tolerance is needed on our part.
Inappropriate how?

In December 2005, this is how our project
  supervisors clarified our policy:
On the topic of service “Abuse”

   If anyone here will be attending the ALA
     Annual ’06 Conference in New Orleans:

  Abuse is in the Eye of the Beholder: Managing
     Challenging Users in Chat Virtual Reference
              Monday, June 26, 2006
              10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
     Morial Convention Center, Rooms 278-282
 With speaker/panelists Ron Burdick, Virginia Cole,
      & Sharon Morris. Facilitated by Buff Hirko

       Sponsored by RUSA’s RSS/MARS Virtual Reference Committee
                 and RSS Cooperative Reference Committee
“Thank you!”

 “Thank you for using Maryland AskUsNow! If you have
  any further questions, please contact us again! You
  can go ahead and select the End Call button if that’s
              all you need. Bye for now!”

       This presentation will be posted at:

             Feel free to contact me:
Abram, Stephen and Judy Luther. “Born with the Chip.” Library Journal. May 2004. p. 34 (4

Baily-Hainer, Brenda. “Virtual Reference: Alive & Well.” Library Journal. January 2005. p. 46 (2

Greene, Louise and Joseph Thompson. Teen Encounter with Virtual Reference Services Focus
  Group. (2004). Unpublished raw data. [Focus Group Transcript]. (Accessed 7/11/2005)

Houghton, Sarah and Aaron Schmidt. “Web-Based Chat vs. Instant Messaging: Who Wins?”
  Online. July/August 2005. p. 26 (5 pages)

“List of Scripts for Maryland AskUsNow! Categories (1/3/05).” (Accessed 7/11/2005)

Morris, Sharon; Louise W. Greene, and Laura Kortz. “Teens and Chat Reference: A Match Made
  in Heaven or…?” Presentation at the Virtual Reference Desk Conference, Cincinnati, OH.
  (Accessed 7/11/2005)

Pew Internet and American Life Project. Teenage life online: the rise of the instant-message
  generation and the impact on friendships and family relationships. [2001] (Accessed
Pew Internet and American Life Project. The Internet Goes to College: How students are living in
  the future with today’s technology. [2002] (Accessed 7/11/2005)

Pew Internet and American Life Project. Let the Games Begin: Gaming Technology and
  Entertainment Among College Students. [2003] (Accessed 7/11/2005)

Pew Internet and American Life Project. How Americans use instant messaging. [2004]
  (Accessed 7/11/2005)

Pew Internet and American Life Project. Demographics of Internet Users. [December 5, 2005]
  (Accessed 4/18/2006)

Radford, Marie. “Please Hury It Up Thanks:” Interpersonal Communication in Maryland
  AskUsNow! Chat Reference. Presentation at the Maryland Library Association Conference
  2005, Ocean City, MD. (Accessed 7/11/2005)

Rawson, Joseph and Gillespie, Caroline. “Netspeak and the future of the online reference
  session.” Presentation at the University of Maryland College Park, April 5, 2006. Earlier
  presentation on same topic can be found at (Accessed 4/18/2006):

“Results of Prank Review”. Unpublished. [Part of the MDASKUSNOW listserv and other
  Updates, January 25, 2005] (Accessed 7/11/2005)

Sweeney, Richard T. “Creating WOW! Library Services for a New Generation.” (2004) Select link
  to “Millennial.” (Accessed 7/11/2005)

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