REFolution 4


Kate McGivern


Pat Dawson, Rider University and Kate McGivern, Bergen Community College presented Have Laptop Will Travel: Experiences of a Field Librarian.


A week before Pat started this program she did house calls to faculty (which gave her good collection development ideas).  She set up a station in the science student’s study area.  After they got rid of the reference desk and set up consultation desks, Kate also set up a one on one appointment desk.  This has helped them to identify tricky research assignments where students will invariably need help.  They also have a roaming service – if two librarians are at the desk, one roams and also librarians not scheduled anywhere roam – she thinks this has led to increased questions, but they don’t do it at night.  They also have an embeddded librarian in a business class who has full access to the classes’ resources (who’s identified the need for clear goals for embedded staff).  They also started chat using Meebo Aggregator and promoted it at library introduction classes and campus wide faculty meetings – currently they just have this service 2-5 M-F and at this point all librarians do it.  Service was used a lot at the beginning (questions increased 7% over the previous year), but has really dropped off which they think is because the hours are incompatible with the students’ needs (however see forthcoming REFolution 5 for Joe Murphy’s thoughts on why they should continue to do this, regardless). 


Next fall they’ll start virtual reference with Q and A NJ.  They are also investigating doing text reference, but that’s incompatible with their “no cell phones” in the library policy…

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