Library Student Resource Group
Notes Feb 17 2010
Present: Joey Brown, Peter Erickson, Josh Grochow, Laura Jones, Kelly Ledbetter, Arielle Linsey, Rachel Miller, Nicholas Stock, Nick Tarasen
From the Library: Judi Nadler (chair), Rachel Rosenberg, Sem Sutter, Jim Vaughan, John Kimbrough
Guests: Jeffry Archer, Agnes Tatarka
Welcome to Peter Erickson, representing the Humanities Division.
Thank you to all the LSRG members who interviewed with Agnes about the research process!
(introduced by Jeffry Archer, Head of Regenstein's Reference and Business Information Center)
Who are we?
- All of us are full-time librarians with a masters’ in library science. Some reference librarians have additional graduate training in a subject field, and many have been here for 10 years or more.
- At Regenstein, we have 8 full-time librarians in the reference department., and 3 librarians who work in other departments but also serve at the reference desk.
- Other libraries (Crerar and Law) are independent but there’s a lot of similiarity. At Crerar and Law, all the subject specialists also work the reference desk – at Regenstein there is a large enough staff for a dedicated Reference department.
What do we do?
- Answering questions: we get all sorts of questions – from “where is the restroom” to working with 16th-century documents.
- We are always exploring new databases and updated products. We may not have extensive knowledge of a given subject, but we have a very good knowledge of information architecture generally. We can often suggest new avenues/products for you to consider.
- We offer training in various products such as RefWorks, a citation management system that allows you to easily transfer and import bibliographies.
- We help maintain the FindIt! system
When are we available?
- Regenstein’s reference desk is staffed 7 days per week.
- You can also email us, call us, and (sometimes) IM/chat.
- Jeffry presented the Library’s current thinking on IM/chat reference. Up until now we have been offering this service in a very haphazard way; we are now moving to a formal service, staffed whenever a desk is open.
- Joey mentioned that chat could help students who have reservations about their question being “important enough”
- Laura thought chat could help a person feel more comfortable about approaching a librarian in person.
- Nick appreciated the evening hours and the alternative of chat over email.
- Josh thought the service would have been/be useful for 2 recent questions he had: a citation in a paper that was very difficult to tracki down and a dissertation from Princeton that he'd like to track down.
How should we publicize this new service of chat?
- Put it on the flat-screen TV!
- Links/buttons in certain areas of the website (e.g., microforms) that people may be unfamiliar with
- Reset the home page on the PAWS? It could rotate pages and thus publicize new services
- Probably hard to implement, but a link in Lens or the catalog – “didn’t find what you were looking for? Chat with a reference librarian”
Agnes presented initial results of a recent survey, this year targeted at graduate students. The survey closed this week on Monday. 9,625 invitations, with an 18.6% response rate. 23 questions, 6 open-ended that generated 2300 comments. We asked about activities, collections, services (both current and proposed), and overall satisfaction.
Good participation from all Schools and Divisions. The largest bloc of respondents came from the Humanities Division and Social Science Division.
We will share highlights of the results at a future LSRG meeting. At present we are “swimming in data.” We will be coding (categorizing) the comments and doing analysis. You can read our coding of the previous survey (done in 2007) : http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/using/survey/2007/comments/home.html
Judi asked: what would you be most interested in from survey results?
- New services
- Website usage
Agenda-building and general comments
- Lens and the catalog
- One LSRG member said he probably uses both equally – but he would give up Lens before the catalog.
- Judi noted that it’s not sustainable to have two tools, and eventually we will have to make a choice. We will want the LSRG to be involved in this process.
- Results from Library survey
- Access to Special Collections: working on this. It’s difficult right now due to construction.
- What items are going in Mansueto? and impact on existing library spaces
- Discussion about library spaces: what directions are we heading?
- Foreign language support: how do we support language classes and foreign language instruction?
- Harper Collection: long-term, we would like to integrate this collection into the Regenstein general collection. Given the material in the Harper collection, it’s unlikely that many Harper items would move to Mansueto.
- Some LSRG members asked if the collection could be retained en bloc – it’s a nice collection to browse, it’s easy to get a book from, and it’s a nice “study break” when studying on the A-Level.
- Judi noted this isn’t out of the question; our decision to integrate the collection is not cast in stone.
Next meeting: probably second or third week of Spring Quarter