The Information Request Form in its current online configuration is about to become obsolete. The Reference Services Committee began to implement this change in March, when the Whidbey Island libraries beta-tested a new referral system using our Ask-a-Librarian Email form. It’s shorter, less cumbersome, and it’s always available from the Ask a Librarian page, including from the catalog only workstations.
Library staff or customers can fill in this form, and it’s especially great if library staff instruct customers on how to fill out the form so they can continue to use it inside or outside the library in the future to get help 24/7. Of course, we’re always here to help, but this is a great way to streamline things on our end and enhance service on the customer’s end.
Here’s why we’re trying it:
- Using the email web form option is a shorter form than the Information Request form.
- This process streamlines workflow and allows for great customer service.
- The question goes through the same process, gets the same amount of attention, research, and follow-up as all other questions.
- The answer will be entered into our Knowledge Base and we will be able to retrieve that answer again in the future, rather than repeating all of the work.
A few other details:
- Though the “E-mail address” and “Confirm e-mail address” fields are mandatory, you can use a dummy email (firstname.lastname@example.org) as long as you enter the same string of characters in both fields. We will use the library card number or phone field to follow up with the customer.
- Questions submitted via this form will be reviewed by SRV staff and answered, or assigned to a large regional library or subject reference center and answered. Typically the question is answered or the customer contacted for more information within 2 business days.