What happened at the March Information Services Committee meeting?

We had a packed agenda!  Here’s a brief rundown:

  • Presentations about SIL website and resources—who develops? Do we need?
  • Online high school recommendation–should be on the intranet soon.  We will not bring in this service.
  • GVRL order/Electronic resources
  • Puget Sound Consumer’s Checkbook discussion and decision.  Details in IdeaScale.
  • How to manage requests for external web links
  • LibAnswers—need procedures, guidelines, decisions
  • Reference Basics 101—Kathy & Jennifer presented the updated PowerPoint
  • Reference weeding—changes in procedure, how to handle single copies
  • SAM and public computing–update from Anne

Changes for Customers in QuestionPoint

When asked how quickly they needed an answer, our old form choices gave the customer 3 days/1 week/no rush!  This reflects our thinking in 2001, not 2015.

The Information Services Committee has talked about it and everyone agreed that a change was necessary.  Therefore, effective immediately, our customers will have the following choice when submitting a question via email in QP:
Need assistance within:


  • 24 hours
  • 2 days
  • No rush


This change was made after we reviewed the data from last summer’s Information Services Project Customer Survey and learned that our customers do expect a more “rapid response” to their questions.

It’s official–the name has changed!

The Reference Services Committee, which used to be the Reference Collection Committee, is now officially the Information Services Committee.   We’re still changing intranet pages, but we wanted to move forward with the name change now.  The Information Services Project implementation team and the Information Services Committee have a significant overlap, so you’ll see many of the same names on each.

Tweaks and Changes to Research Page

The Reference Services Committee has made some changes to the Research page:

Research redoWhat’s new?

  • We’ve added 2 levels of Homework–one for kids, one for teens
  • We changed Business to Business & Finance
  • We changed Healthy Living to Health & Science
  • We changed Legal Info to Legal
  • We changed Your Money to Consumer
  • We moved the Magazines & Newspapers from the green buttons on top to the category blocks below.

Hope that you like the changes–big thanks to Mike Longley for getting them done so quickly!

Homebound Customer Service

Last week we learned that the Everett Public Library would be discontinuing their homebound service, effective June 1, 2013.  One of their customers was a former “heavy hitter” on Sno-Isle Libraries, often asking multiple libraries to work on the same question.  After talking with Leslie Moore, I think that we’ve come up with a service plan that we can use to avoid everyone jumping through the same hoop, printing the same information, and mailing it to the customer.  We will use our Ask a Librarian By E-Mail form filled out as seen below.  Just take the information down and submit the form.  There’s no need to explain that the request may be completed by another library.


Requests come to the QuestionPoint Administrator who will assign the question to a specific library and watch to make sure that there are not duplicate requests being assigned.  Please make sure that the customer’s name and mailing address are in the Question/Comment box.

Drafts and Reviews of Government Documents

For years we’ve received paper copies of various government documents that were sent to us so that the public would have access to something that was out for comment.  We still get those in print and you’ve all been great about remembering to return or recycle them at the end of the comment period.  We don’t catalog review or draft documents.

But the 21st Century has arrived and many government offices and agencies are sending us electronic notification (links or the actual document) instead of paper. And that’s great!  But how do we handle that?  The Reference Services Committee has discussed this via email and we’ve come to the conclusion that the answer is pretty easy–we don’t do anything.

Any document made freely available on the Internet has been made as “available to the public” as putting a print copy in a public location, like a public library.  For those that don’t have access to the Internet, it is the computers in the public library that provide “public access” to the content, not any listed link to the documentation.  If a customer asks, we will find the information and we will print it, if requested.

eResource Evaluation in 2012

In addition to our annual review of our subscription packages with Gale and EBSCO, the Reference Services Committee has decided to focus on the following subject areas in 2012:

  • Auto Repair (February/March)
  • Small Business (May/June)
  • Genealogy (August/September)

Please comment here or send an email to Christa Werle with the titles (&  info links, if available) of any products you would like the RSC to consider, review, trial, compare.  Thank you for your input!


In 2010, our Reference Services Committee reviewed the AtoZdatabases product and determined that is was not quite ready to compete with ReferenceUSA.  This fall, RSC took on an in-depth head-to-head comparison of the two products and determined that based on content and accessibility it was time to switch from ReferenceUSA to AtoZdatabases for our subscription directory resource.

While we will have access to ReferenceUSA through the end of the month, please familiarize yourself with our newest resource, AtoZdatabases:


There are no tutorials provided at this time, though the “Get Started” buttons on the home page and the links under “Uses of AtoZdatabases” are instrumental in helping to create the search results or “reports” that you are looking for.

Please contact Christa Werle (x7160) or your RSC Representative (https://intranet.sno-isle.org/?ID=1841) with any questions or training needs!

Proctoring: Guidelines and Such

As many of you may have heard, King County Library System no longer offers proctoring service for their customers.  We’ve experienced a slight increase in our demand for proctoring in the libraries close to KCLS locations.  Please remember to share our proctoring guidelines with anyone who asks about this service.

One of the most recent requests came from a customer who asked if we could scan and email the test back to the university.  Although several libraries have scanners, the Reference Services Committee decided that they could not endorse this practice since a scanner was not available at every library.