Kansas State University


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Author: dtheiss

K-State Libraries use Libstats, an electronic reference tracking system

Libstats: code.google.com/p/libstats

Libstats is an open source, web-based software program created by programmers from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. It provides a way for libraries to track reference interactions at multiple service points. This software is run on Linux or Windows and requires a PHP server. For more technology requirements, see Google’s Libstats Installation Guide.

Libstats allows library staff at each service point to systematically record details about their patron encounters in order to capture important usage data. K-State Libraries made the transition to Libstats (and away from capturing reference transactions by placing tick marks on paper tally sheets) in January 2007. A wealth of information can be gleaned from the data captured. For example, data can be analyzed to make management decisions about staffing levels; service hours; staff training and continuing education needs; and improving basic library services.

Continue reading “K-State Libraries use Libstats, an electronic reference tracking system”

K-State Libraries move to Libraryh3lp for IM service

IM logo for Libraryh3lp

In September, K-State Libraries received more than 450 questions via instant messaging, the majority from students using the Libraries’ web-based chat widgets. Also that month, the Libraries switched its web chat service from Meebo (used October 2006-August 2008) to Libraryh3lp.  It allows K-Staters to contact the library through their personal instant messaging (IM) accounts — AIM, GTalk, Jabber, Meebo, MSN, or Yahoo — as well as the Libraries’ web-based chat widgets. Continue reading “K-State Libraries move to Libraryh3lp for IM service”

Instant messaging popular with K-State Libraries’ patrons

Students have discovered that instant messaging is a fast and easy way to interact with K-State Libraries. The library implemented its instant-messaging reference service in October 2006, and word of the service has continued to gradually spread ever since.

image of the Libraries' instant-messaging icon plus IM channels or gatewaysIn spring semester 2007, 610 general-reference questions were fielded through instant messages. This spring semester, 1,274 questions were received, for a 109 percent increase in use of the service.

Popular questions received via instant messaging include:

  • Whether the library has a particular book
  • Help with research questions, such as how to search the library catalog
  • How to use a particular databaseLibrary hours

To instant message the Hale Library Help Desk, use these channels:

  • AIM, MSN: halelibraryhelp
  • Yahoo, Jabber, GTalk, meebo: halelibraryhelpdesk

For more information about instant messaging at K-State Libraries or how to use the service, see the Ask a Librarian webpage.

by Danielle Theiss-White, K-State Libraries, and Betsy Edwards, Information Technology Assistance Center Continue reading “Instant messaging popular with K-State Libraries’ patrons”