March 30, 2009


Calls: 3

Two calls about PINs tonight, and one about MLA. I also finished up the EJS project.

CJ, I just want to thank you for a great experience. I really feel like my virtual reference skills have improved over the year – I’ve learned how to be friendly and welcoming in text, I’ve seen the fabulousness of Jing, and I now know the importance of cheat sheets to ensure quick service while chatting. The projects we worked on were also great for seeing a whole new behind-the-scenes look at an academic library.

I am very sorry to hear that the service will be cancelled, but I can understand that it’s difficult to have the service manned with so few calls. I really appreciate the opportunity I’ve had here.

CJ, good luck with your future projects, and maybe we’ll meet in person someday – although it seems fitting that I’ve only ever interacted with my virtual reference supervisor, viturally. :)


March 28, 2009

Final Shift

Calls: 1 1/2

I had one call today about trouble accessing databases. The problem seemed to be their computer (as I could access resources logging in under their barcode). Tried a couple of the tricks, but none seem to work (alas..). Referred them to IT on Monday. Also had a question waiting for me when I signed in. I answered it even though they were not there so maybe it will be there waiting for them when they come back!

Got halfway through the Ebsco project and then sent it to Sarah Am pretty sure I was doing it right, but if so there seem to be a lot of problems connecting to the proxy server. I would say more than half that I looked at did not connect properly.

Anyway, I guess this is my final shift. It has been a lot of fun! Although there were never an insane amount of calls, I still feel really grateful to have had this experience, and I think the position was a great intro into the complicated world of virtual reference. I got some great in-depth research questions over the past year, and also became more adept at handling those ready reference. I also think it really helped me realize the different kind of language and ways of answering that need to be used. I also was able to get some experience handling multiple calls at once, which was quite stressful at first.

I also think it was very helpful to work on a number of the different collection and system projects for the rest of the UW team. Although we talk about things like identifying gaps in the collection and constructing subject guides, it has been so helpful to see how that is actually done in a library.

So, all in all - thanks again for a great experience this year CJ. If you guys do ever decide to continue the project best of luck! I also hope you have a great summer (I know it must be hard to think of summer when Manitoba is in the middle of the craziest weather and flooding ever!). Perhaps we will run into one another at a future library conference.

Have a great last shift Sarah!


March 23, 2009

Another quiet night

Calls: 0

Finished up the rest of the authors on the playwrights list. And CJ I sent you an email with what I could find on procedures for collection inventories. Glad we could help you guys out with those.


March 21, 2009

Beautiful Saturday

Calls: 2
Issues: 0

Two questions about accessing resources today - other than that pretty quiet. I got started on the playwright project again. It was a little slower going bc it was harder to find a complete list of the authors' works. I mostly used the Library of Congress, and Worldcat to figure that out. There are still a few left on the list I believe. Have fun Sarah!

March 20, 2009

Continuation of playwright project

Hi Me-Linh and Sarah,

Linwood asked me to let you know that he has added more names to the list, so if you could have a look at the project again and work on it some more, he'd really appreciate it.

I understand that the service isn't utilized as much as you would like (or at all). Unfortunately, as we won't be continuing the service after March, there isn't much I could do. All project help has been very much appreciated!

One additional thing you could look into for me is if there are any procedural guidelines for doing a collection inventory, out on the net/literature.

Have a great shift!

March 15, 2009

A little busier

Calls: 4

It was nice to see things back to normal tonight. Questions about ILL, PIN, and research help. There was also a student that logged on just to chat - we kept it brief, but I thought that must have been a good sign that they have enjoyed chatting with us in the past.

Have a great week!

March 14, 2009

Very very quiet

Calls: 0

A very uneventful day - no questions at all. Along with Sarah, I am also curious as to whether the cancellation of the service during the week has influenced its weekend activity. Have a nice week CJ!