What is Ask a librarian service? what is the relevance of the service Ask a librarian? where or what source can i find information regarding Ask a librarian…


what is Ask a librarian service? what is the relevance of the service Ask a librarian? where or what source can i find information regarding Ask a librarian service?


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Ask a Librarian is the joint digital reference service of Finnish libraries. It’s situated in the site Libraries.fi, the national library portal for Finnish libraries. Libraries.fi is produced by the Central Library for Public Libraries in Finland, which is Helsinki City Library and it’s financed by the Ministry of Education. The Ask a Librarian started in the year 1999. Answers are given in three languages: Finnish, Swedish and English. Ask a Librarian has a public archive, where answers are stored and can be used by other information seekers. The archive also exists in three languages, http://www.libraries.fi/ask_l...ive.aspx .

The question is sent in via a web form, the answer is delivered to the email-address given by the customer. The answer is given within three working days (Saturday and Sunday excluded). Ask a Librarian gives also online chat service (monday-thursday 11-17, friday 11-15), http://chat.kirjastot.fi/yhteinen .

At present, there are 72 libraries answering in the service: 53 public libraries, 19 university or special libraries and reference service groups.

I'm not quite sure, what you mean by relevance. All questions are answered and we get very good respons from our customers. Other kinds of measurements of relevance of answers have'nt been conducted by us. There is a professor at Tampere University, Pertti Vakkari, who has compared the answers given in Ask a Librarian with Google-results. Here is a link to one article, http://www.info.uta.fi/vakkari/Vakkari&Taneli_ECDL09.pdf . In this article Vakkari writes that, the correctness of answers given in the reference services produced by libraries is high, and the queries he made gave results of 70-72% correctness (his criterias are stated in the article). I might add to this, that since we often have additional information eighter given by the customer or send to the customer, that is'nt shown in the public archive of the service, the actual correctness of the answers is even higher.

The Ask a Librarian arhive contains many aswers given about the service, http://www.libraries.fi/en-GB/ask_librarian/keywordquestions.aspx?WordI… and some older articles here http://www.libraries.fi/en-GB/library_branch/articles/ . You are welcome to ask more here or to send questions to the editor of the service, Nina Granlund.

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