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HLG Conference 2010 It’s good to talk: designing an evidence-based virtual referencing service using instant messaging Tasha Cooper, Information Officer.

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Presentation on theme: "HLG Conference 2010 It’s good to talk: designing an evidence-based virtual referencing service using instant messaging Tasha Cooper, Information Officer."— Presentation transcript:

1 HLG Conference 2010 It’s good to talk: designing an evidence-based virtual referencing service using instant messaging Tasha Cooper, Information Officer MIDIRS (Midwives Information & Resource Service) 19 th July 2010

2 Contents of presentation About MIDIRS and the Information Services department The MIDIRS Reference Database and existing enquiry service Developing the business case for the introduction of instant messaging Where are we now? Reflection on the process

3 About MIDIRS Our Mission: ‘To be the leading international information resource relating to childbirth and infancy, disseminating this information as widely as possible to assist in the improvement of maternity care’ Established 1985 with 3 staff Broad range of information products: –Quarterly and monthly journals –Electronic reference database –Free podcasts and student materials Global customer base Educational charity and a limited company

4 Information Services department MIDIRS Business Manager Graphic Designer Information Services Marketing Customer Services Editorial (Digest) Finance Manager Head of Midwifery IT Editorial (EM) = full-time= part-time ‘To be the leading international information resource relating to childbirth and infancy, disseminating this information as widely as possible to assist in the improvement of maternity care’

5 MIDIRS Reference Database amalgamation of references to relevant resources relating to pregnancy, childbirth and infancy –journal articles, book chapters, reports, pamphlets, news items, audio visual materials, conference proceedings and other ‘grey literature’. Around 1000 new resources are added each month Subscription service

6 Enquiry Service Current telephone and service Literature searches –via Customer Services or online form –mainly literature searches

7 Introducing instant messaging Why? –Market research results 59% have never used the Advanced Search –Direct communication –Rebranding –Redevelopment of technology When? How?

8 Developing the business case November 2009 reviewing the literature Jan-March 2010 critically appraising articles April 2010 to inform the business case Clements, C (2009). Implementing instant messaging in four university libraries. Library Hi Tech 27(6): embedded widget via Lotus Sametime no need for IM account pop-out chat window -increased visibility of library staff in the online environment (p. 394) - comparison of various software (p. 396), allowing me to identify most suitable solution for MIDIRS:

9 Developing the business case November 2009 reviewing the literature Jan-March 2010 critically appraising articles April 2010 to inform the business case Jane C & McMillan D (2003). Online in real-time? Deciding whether to offer a real- time virtual reference service. The Electronic Library 21(3): identified a need for staff training in IM enquiries (p.242) proposed the development of set responses that can be pasted into conversation ‘Please wait a moment’ etc - response and usage directly related to advertising and promotion (p.244) supports my suggestion to include chat box on most pages

10 Developing the business case Nilsen K (2006) Comparing users’ perspectives of in-person and virtual reference. New Library World 107(1222/1223): –advantages of instant messaging are convenience, anonymity and speed of response November 2009 reviewing the literature Jan-March 2010 critically appraising articles April 2010 to inform the business case

11 Key areas of the business case –Executive Summary –Background Information What are the drivers for such a service? –Benefits for MIDIRS Organisational level Departmental level Subscriber level –Risks and Financial Implications –Conclusion –References

12 Key areas of the business case Planning Cost Quality control Opening hours Promotion

13 Where are we now? Business case submitted April 2010 and proposals agreed by Business Manager Schedule for redevelopment July/August In development September Staging & testing October Go live!

14 Reflection on the process Gaining support informally Structuring the business case –advice from others in organisation –support from mentor Time factors Overcoming problems –commercial implications –what level of support to offer users?

15 HLG Conference 2010 It’s good to talk: designing an evidence-based virtual referencing service using instant messaging Tasha Cooper, Information Officer MIDIRS (Midwives Information & Resource Service)


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