I need a pattern according to whicth I can offer "ask a librarian" service in reference section of my library. I live in Iran I want to know whitch libraries…


I need a pattern according to whicth I can offer "ask a librarian" service in reference section of my library. I live in Iran I want to know whitch libraries in iran offer this service and how.


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I'm afraid that your specific question about iranian libraries offering an Ask a librarian -service is too difficult for me to answer, since i can't read arabic letters and can not therefore search the websites of iranian libraries. It might be a good idea to ask for assistance in the National library of Iran, http://www.nlai.ir/ . There is an international Ask a librarian service Questionpoint.org, that migt be able to help you http://www.questionpoint.org . In Sweden there is a multilingual Ask a librarian -service, they do not yet offer service in arabic, but they are planning to do so, maybe they could help you in your search. The address is http://www.eref.se/se-admin/vrleb_question_patron.asp?virtual_desk_id=43 .

I can tell you about our service in Finland. I've had some questions about this topic before, and i think you will find interesting information in the following answer.

First some facts about the Ask a librarian, http://www.libraries.fi/ask_librarian/ . It is the joint online reference inquiry service of the Finnish libraries. This means that the questions are answered in many libraries in the whole country. There is a list containing the participating libraries in our service, http://www.libraries.fi/ask_librarian/libraries/ . We provide service in three languages: finnish, swedish and english. There is also a more simple question form for children in finnish and swedish.
1) Questions.
I’m afraid there is no fresh study about the contence of the questions. There is one student who is planning to make a study about the reference questions sent to our service, but I’m afraid that she has only just started with the project. In general I can tell you that we offer reference service, and that a great part of the questions sent to us are reference questions. By this I mean that the question concerns some subject about which the asking person needs information. Often the ask for literature references or Internet-sites. There are also lots of questions about library systems, services of libraries, opening hours et cetera. You can study the questions and answers given in our service in the archive, which can be found in the following address, http://www.libraries.fi/en-GB/ask_librarian/archive.aspx .
2. Answers.
We answer reference questions in a traditional way for libraries, that is by giving literature references and addresses of suitable Internet-sites, where information about the subject can be found, to the customer. If the asking persons is in need of facts, for example year of birth of some known person, we look for the information in reference books, give the answer and reference to the literature, where the answer was found.
3. Answering time.
We promise the answer within three working days, but often, the customer receives an answer the same day.
4. Technics and archive.
We have special software for answering the questions. Normally we write concise answers and give them subject headings (=keywords). We both send the answer to the questioners email and store it in the public archive in our site, http://www.libraries.fi/en-GB/ask_librarian/archive.aspx . This way, it is possible, for others in need of the same information, to find it in the archive. The archive contains a search facility.
5. Difficult questions.
There are no questions which we leave unanswered. If the question is too specialised and requires special knowledge, we give advice about where to ask. In case the questioner writes he’s email address incorrectly, we can’t send the answer to his email-address, we can only hope that he will find the answer in the public archive.
6. Statistics.
We answered about 4000 questions in the year 2005.
7. History.
Our service started in the present form in the year 1999. It is national, we had a few public libraries co-operating in the beginning, but presently there are 36 public libraries, 12 special libraries and reference inquiry services and 1 university library participating.

The first steps were made when the site (and the organisation of) Libraries.fi we created in 1996. Libraries.fi in an Internet-site for all libraries in Finland and therefore it is an ideal ground for services working nationwide. In the year 1999 there were a few libraries answering the questions (about 1500 questions the first year). Year by year there are more and more libraries joining us and more and more questions sent to us. You can read more about Libraries.fi, also Ask a Librarian in the following article, Sarmela Matti, Kirjastot.fi, SPLQ Vol. 37 no. 4/2004, http://www.splq.info/issues/vol37_4/08.htm . Please note, that some of the information concerning Ask a librarian is not valid anymore. For example, in the question form (in finnish and swedish), the questioner gives information, where he lives, and can also choose one participating library, from which he hopes to get the answer. This is good specially for regional questions and specialised questions meant for special libraries (e.g, legal questions to the library of the Parliament).

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iranian language is persian no arabic. letter is arabic but not same together. thnx for your information.

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