March 19, 2012
Present: Paula Kaufman, chair, Pat Allen, Tina Chrzastowski, Chris Johns, Mary Laskowski, Lynne Rudasill, Beth Sandore, Marek Sroka, Caroline Szylowicz, Tom Teper, Scott Walter, David Ward, Cherié Weible; Visitor- Peggy Steele, Beth Woodard; Recording – Kim Matherly
Discussion has been deferred to another meeting.
The policy can be found at http://www.library.illinois.edu/committee/ReferenceServices/policies/vrpolicy.html
The Reference Services Committee has been working on a few things since it started in August. Kathleen Kern and David have been working on a variety of things as well as requests from IT concerning virtual reference service, was looking at the Library-wide chat service and thinking about how it applies Library-wide. That is basically what the policy is focusing on.
It is a short policy. It mentions that we are going to endeavor to use one software for chat reference and have one service that everyone staffs so we can have central training for it so IT only has one service that it will manage.
Most importantly, as we are marketing to users, we are not attempting to replicate our physical structure on line by having 40 or 50 different virtual service points as opposed to one.
It mentions the current software and system we are using, IM Collaborator. The committee reviewed this and was in favor with this. Scott suggested we run it by AC for questions. Essentially, this doesn’t change much. It codifies what the practice has been. In particular it helps when we have new subject specialists looking to get involved with chat reference we have a way to standardize the way people get trained, how we get software set up, how we get widgets set up on their page so patrons can contact people, and how we get them involved in the referral network.
The goal is that all chat reference services within individual libraries will be moved to the main chat reference service. We have three outliers now at this point. This came up because we had a couple of additional people wanting to create new accounts. IT wanted to know if we really needed to do that. What we’re trying to do is when we present the chat boxes, we want to point people towards the main service, because it is the main one we’re staffing, it has the longest hours of service, and it’s tied into all our training and best practices. One of the other issues is that some of the units that started other chat services would only staff them 1:00-4:00pm week days and if they aren’t there you get a box saying “no librarians are available,” when actually there are plenty of librarians available.
We are advocating that if people want to they can advertise virtual office hours, so when someone comes into chat, they’ll see who’s there and when a specific individual may be available. We have set the widgets up so if you come into a page from the widgets it will tell you what page the person came in from and everyone will see it in the queue. Then people can see if they are coming from an individual’s page and they can be bounced to the appropriate person.
We are waiting for the final edits to come back for one more policy, the Reference Referral Policy. The policy will incorporate best practice. The next step is that Bill Mischo is finishing the data base which will be behind this. The database will let you figure out who the subject specialist is and will have continual feedback. This will be reviewed once a year to determine on what else they need to train.
We will transition the few units that have their own virtual reference service from what they are doing into IM Collaborator. We’ll transition individual websites to IM so it no longer tells users that on one is available, when obviously, there is.
What kind of accounts should be provisioned as a matter of course throughout the Library? Currently 200 staff don’t have phones. They will all be assigned a phone line. We don’t know what those additional lines will cost us. We currently don’t know how much long-distance charges will be. The cost will cover not just phone lines, but a bundled service, i.e., email, phones, 911.
The categories are local (+toll-free), Northern American and Caribbean and Global. We will continue to encourage the use of calling cards. We have saved $12,000 per year by using calling cards. That is a significant savings. There are some people who make a lot of calls and need to make international calls for their jobs. Some people will be able to use international calling cards. Some will use Skype. The local category will work for most people.
Staff in ILL/DD were told by CITES training to continue using calling cards for long distance. ILL/DD people have Global access.
If you don’t have to make a lot of calls, local access should work. We can also look into international calling cards for those who need them. Advancement needs to be able to dial through without using a calling card, so donors don’t see an unfamiliar number and not answer the calls.
IT will also need to know what permissions apply to unit phones.
Division Coordinators should make recommendations for exceptions to local access for the individuals in their divisions. Paula and the AULs will look at these exceptions and vet them. Please send these to Paula by April 17. The exceptions will be local with North American cards or international cards or the exception for being able to dial long-distance or international direct from their phone without a card.
If you need Skype for your work, log an OTRS for IT. If you don’t contact Paula, the phones will be set to the default, which is local with no calling cards. If you currently use a calling card, you can continue to use them. You’ll also need to inform Paula if you need exceptions for you unit phone or for a conference phone.
Jeff Schrader is aware of the issues at Grainger around their intercom system. Campus will not be providing phones that can call 911. We also need to be aware of any land lines that need to stay. We will need to develop best practice guidelines for life safety issues.
This was announced on the Deans, Directors, and Department Heads list a couple of weeks ago. Deans and Associate Deans have completed the online training. The training takes approximately 90 minutes for people with supervisory responsibilities and 60 minutes for all others. An email will go out to all faculty and staff asking them to complete the training by September 30, 2012. Paula encourages everyone to complete the training as soon as possible.
The ARTF submitted its report on March 15. We would like to see the Library become a culture of recognition. We need buy-in from the supervisors. The Union is concerned because people aren’t using letters as part of the PPP program. How can we get better at this? Paula and the AULs will send out reminders periodically, asking people to remember to use the PPP program. If you’re not sure how to fill out or use the PPP program, contact Beth Woodard or Cindy Kelly. The report can be circulated. The most important part is the first eleven pages and the last pages with the specific awards described. We want to have ongoing recognition. We want to recognize things we value, like service and innovation, but also small things. Beth would like some feedback as to whether this could be Library wide nominations or if this should just be supervisor nominations.
We need best practices for how to nominate other people’s staff. We should check with supervisor first to make sure it is appropriate to nominate certain individuals.
Some campus awards are eligible onto to those individuals who received a unit award, like instruction awards. We also wanted to recognize specific categories of employees--staff, AP, faculty, or students—both undergrads and graduate students.
The committee would also like feedback on what kind of events the awards will be given.
Most libraries have longevity events and new employee events. We do a better job than a lot of libraries. We have not yet developed the complete group award proposal. The group discussed at length whether or not to have a plaque system in the main building and decided that a virtual plaque or web space would allow more people to see those being recognized.
Please send Beth Woodard input about different awards and categories.
On June 1 from 9-11am we will have a mini-retreat and will ask people to present and share what they’ve learned and what they have done in their units. We hope to have a best practices come out of this mini-retreat. The Library won’t be closed. A call will be sent out around May 15 asking for people who are willing to present. Beth Woodard is happy to come to division meetings if you’d like.
Those that are currently known are John Andrick, Joyce Berg, Tina Chrzastowski, Katie Clark, Susan Hill, Al Kagan, Linda Lumen, Dorey Panno, Paula Reveal, Diane Schmidt, Jane Somera, Peggy Steele, and Mary Stuart. 37.8% of our faculty are eligible to retire and 30% of staff. Some people on campus have not been made aware that the SURS money purchase factor is changing. We should encourage people to meet with SURS if they are eligible or thinking about retiring.