Mobile Reference, Mobile Librarians

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  1. 1. Darcy Gervasio Reference & Instruction Librarian/ Text Reference Coordinator SUNY Purchase College Library ALA Midwinter, January 2012 Dallas, TX
  2. 2. In the 3rd quarter of 2011, U.S. teens aged 13-17 sent on average 3,417 texts per month.* 18-24 year olds sent 1,914 texts per monththats 3 texts per hour! The majority of Americans aged18-24 (53%) and 25-34 (64%) now own smartphones. The average cell-phone user texts more than calls. Average user receives/places 12.3 calls per day but receives/sends 41.5 texts per day. (Pew Internet, 2011) *data and image from Nielsen Wire, December 2011
  3. 3. (guy)
  4. 4. Small, undergrad liberal arts campus Most students have mobile phones Popular Ask Us 24/7 Chat (IM) service Rolled out text reference service March 1, 2010
  5. 5. What are the librarys hours? How do I log onto the wifi with my laptop? Whats the call number for book X? Help! The printers not working! Where is the N section?
  6. 6. Still of Drew Barrymore in Scream. Dimension Films. 1996. Retrieved from Internet Movie Database. http:www.imdbcom/media/rm3957037312/tt0117571
  7. 7. Roving Reference posters throughout the stacks Signs stuck to every printer in the library
  8. 8. Total Text Questions Spring 2011: 76* Total Text Messages Fall 2011: 506** Total Unique Questions Fall 2011: 394 *pilot with Mosio software began March 1, 2011 (mid-semester) **SpringShare software rolled out August 22, 2011 (start of semester)
  9. 9. After-hours texts tripled from Nov. to Dec. 2011 during Finals Period, when the Library was open 24 hours (but Text Us was only staffed until 10pm). In other words, the later the Library was open, the later patrons texted us even though Text Us service hours had not changed.
  10. 10. Approximately 57% of texts received in Fall 2011 were sent from inside the library 5% were in-depth research questions 36% dealt with printer, computer, or wifi issues 29% were directional (both inside and outside the library 25% were ready reference
  11. 11. Text (SMS) Reference Chat (IM) Reference Short, one-off Q&A. No space for reference interview Longer dialog/ full reference interview is possible Not always synchronous Synchronous Interaction often prompted by real- world or location-specific need Interaction often related to virtual need or using online resources Directional & quick reference questions In-depth research questions Patrons expect a short, speedy answer Patrons expect a longer conversation Librarians often dont have enough characters to tutor/lead and must provide ready reference answers Librarians often try to tutor and lead patrons to the answer without doing the work for them
  12. 12. Are tootsie rolls gluten free? -Received 10/31/11 @ 4:07pm Librarian Reply: The following link says YES.
  13. 13. Hi. Where would I find books on 18th century sensibility and British Romantic literature? -Received 10/6/11 @ 7:44pm Librarian Reply: Many options (tough 2 answer in SMS). See Culture of Sensibility HQ1593.B37 1992 or See ref desk 4 help.
  14. 14. Will someone let us know downstairs when we need to leave? I've never been up this late. My phone is about to die, and its my only clock. -Received 9/30/11 @ 12:19 am Librarian Reply: Before closing, the lights blink & library workers come around to check for students. Thanks for your question!
  15. 15. Harkens back to pre-Google days of telephone Ready Reference. Anonymity of text might appeal to shy patrons. Serves patrons who dont have smartphones/data plans (bridges a digital divide). Hard to teach information literacy & research skills in 150 characters! Does text reference play into a culture of instant gratification and spoon-fed answers?
  16. 16. Text reference is not just another virtual reference tool. Text questions are often related to and sent from the brick-and-mortar library. Texting is a unique increasingly popular means of communication requiring specialized best practices and implementation. Text Reference can supplement and deepen face- to-face library services, especially when paired with Roving Reference.
  17. 17. Kids Today: How the Class of 2011 Engages with Media. Nielsen Wire 8 June 2011. Web. 10 Jan. 2012. New Mobile Obsession: U.S. Teens Triple Data Usage. Nielsen Wire 15 Dec. 2011. Web. 10 Jan. 2012. Smith, Aaron. How Americans Use Text Messaging. Pew Internet 19 Sept. 2011. Web. 17 Jan. 2012. U.S. Teen Mobile Report: Calling Yesterday, Texting Today, Using Apps Tomorrow. Nielsen Wire 14 Oct. 2010. Web. 10 Jan. 2012. Image Credits: Photographs of Purchase College Library taken by Darcy Gervasio, 2011. Text Us posters, button & marketing materials designed by Darcy Gervasio, 2011. Public Domain clip art taken from and Wikimedia Commons. Screenshots from Texts from Last Night, Damn You Auto Correct, SpringShares LibAnswers SMS Statistics Module, and Purchase College Library Catalog taken by Darcy Gervasio using Jing. Average Number of Messages Exchanged Per Month by Age and Gender. Nielsen Wire. 2011. Retrieved from Nielsen Wire. Web. 10 Jan. 2012 Still of Drew Barrymore in Scream. Dimension Films. 1996. Retrieved from Internet Movie Database. Web. 10 Jan. 2012 Tootsie Roll Wallpaper Image. Tootsie Roll Industries. Retrieved from from Web. 17 Jan. 2012