I am writing a master's work on the study of corporate virtual reference services of libraries of foreign countries!
Help me, please, to find information about your virtual reference service.
- What other restrictions you have, besides those mentioned in the rules?
- How many requests you treated in 2009 (at least approximate number)?
- What is the working time virtual reference service (days and hours)?
- Do you have a limit queries per day?
- What types of queries do you accept?
Many thanks in advance!
First, more information about Ask a Librarian can be found in our archive by searching with the keyword Ask a Librarian, http://www.libraries.fi/en-GB/ask_librarian/keywords/ . In the Library branch channel of Libraries.fi, http://www.libraries.fi/en-GB/library_branch/articles/, there is a powerpoint-presentation about Ask a Librarian (2007), some of the numbers are old, but otherwise it still contains valid information.
As for your questions, I try to give you answers below.
We have no other restrictions than those mentioned. The most important fact to remember is that we work in a library, we help find information, but we can not always provide ready answers, in for instance questions concerning health, sicknesses or law. In cases where we can’t give answers or reference material, we try to guide the questioner to find the correct authority who might be able to help.
We sent about 3700 answers in 2009 per mail, answers to little over 4700 questions were found directly in the archive by our semantic service. We answered thus about 8400 questions last year.
For the working times of the virtual reference service is impossible to say anything. Our question formula is allways available on the net. We have personnel working with the questions aside of their other duties all over the contry in over 60 different libraries, so i cannot say how may working hours in a year are used. In the year 2008 there were 450 different persons, who send answers through the service.
We have no limits in queries per days and we accept all queries. We use restrictions concerning answering, so that we don't give legal or medical advise and of course we are bound by laws as everyboy
else, so that we ex. g. don't send personnel information about citizens to third parties.