Skip to main content
< Back

The Quality Assurance (QA) workgroup has two main functions. One, to read and select exemplary chat transcripts that will give recognition to the hard-working librarians who staff the service. The second is to highlight exemplary chats so that other librarians who staff the service have good examples that will guide them in their digital reference work. Each member of the workgroup reads a set of transcripts for one day of each month. The group then nominates a chat transcript winner in two categories: best brief and best detailed chat. To get to know your Quality Assurance Workgroup Members, read their short bios by selecting their name from the list below.

Andy Todd, EFSC/UCF Joint Use Library in Cocoa Beach (co-chair)

I have been a librarian with the University of Central Florida for over 8 years. After graduating from USF in 2003, I started out as an adjunct librarian at the Joint-Use Library in Clermont. The next year, I transitioned into a permanent position at the EFSC/UCF Joint-Use library in Cocoa.
Working at a regional campus library affords me the opportunity to share reference responsibilities (including chat hours) with the Eastern Florida State College librarians. This is my 6th year participating in the AAL Service. I enjoy AAL and feel that I learn something new each time I read an exemplary chat transcript or log into the virtual desk.

Andrew Beman-Cavallaro, Pasco-Hernando State College (co-chair)

Andrew Beman-Cavallaro is the Associate Director of Libraries for the Spring Hill Campus of Pasco-Hernando State College, a position he has held since 2013. He received his MLS from USF in 2008 and is currently pursuing his second Master’s Degree in History through the University of Nebraska. Andrew worked previously at the USF Tampa Library in various para-professional roles and at the Bartow Public Library as the Reference/Instruction Librarian where he also completed the Sunshine State Library Leadership Institute in which he later participated as a Mentor. Andrew has presented multiple times at FLA and has several publications in journals including Library Journal and Progressive Librarian. Before joining the AaL QA Committee Andrew received an Exemplary Chat Award in 2011 and has co-chaired the Committee for the past several years.

Laurie Bates, Sarasota County Public Library

Laurie works for Sarasota County Library System for a little more than 6 years, first in reference at the Selby Library and now on the library web site in Library Administration. Before Sarasota County, she worked at the Temple Terrace Library near Tampa and the Bruton Memorial Library in Plant City.
She did her first AAL shift about nine years ago. She was the back-up at her library, and her colleague really loved staffing AAL, meaning she didn’t get many shifts! However, for the last six years, she’s staffed AAL regularly.
During her shifts, she’s always found it fun, interesting, and sometimes enlightening to see the questions patrons pose through AAL. She can’t wait to read more of them, to learn from colleagues, and to help recognize good work.

Katresa Gardner, Sarasota County Library System

Katresa Gardner is the Web Services Librarian for Sarasota County Libraries & Historical Resources in Sarasota Florida. She maintains current awareness of methods, systems and investigates innovative technology related to the development and production of digital content.

Lora Glass, Niceville Library

Lora Glass has been with the Niceville Public Library since 1983. She started out as the Library Assistant and when the new library facility opened in 2000 became Head of Reference and Interlibrary Loan. AskaLibrarian is one of her favorite duties because she is constantly challenged. Her favorite question which she has been asked numerous times is “Are people from Niceville always nice?” Her reply is always, YES.

Ciara Hensley, Valencia College

Ciara Hensley has been the Emerging Technology Librarian at Valencia College since 2018. During her studies at Florida State University, she worked as a Reference Associate where she discovered her passion for serving patrons. From helping someone locate a copy of Star Wars to finding scholarly sources for a research paper, she enjoys making someone’s day brighter through sharing the power of information.

Kelli Herm, Tallahassee Community College

Coming Soon!

Pam Hoepner, Polk State College

Pam has worked in libraries since 1982. She started out in the Hillsborough County Public Library system in high school as a shelver and loved it so much, she just kept going! She helped create the Serials Union List while working as an intern at TBLC, while getting her Masters in Library Science at USF in 1992. She’s worked in circulation, as a Youth Services librarian and served as Department Head and Branch Manager over the years in HCPLC, Seminole, and Tallahassee public libraries as well as Bad Axe, Michigan (yes, that’s a real place!). Currently, and for the past 7 years, she has gone the academic route and been a part-time librarian at Polk State College, serving daily on its local Ask a Librarian desk.

Judy Kuhns, University of Central Florida

Judy has been a librarian with the University of Central Florida since 2017, serving as the UCF Connect Librarian at the joint-use Valencia College Osceola campus. Prior to UCF, she was an adjunct reference and instruction librarian at the Valencia College West campus library. Before moving to Florida in 2015, she worked for eight years as a technical services librarian at SUNY Ulster in upstate New York. Chat reference has been an enjoyable part of each of her positions, and she learns something new every day.

Tom Wilcox, Lake County Library System

Coming Soon!

What awards are given?

Brief Chat – 15 minutes or under
Detailed Chat – 16-30+ minutes

What do the workgroup members look for in an exemplary chat?

Accuracy – Correct Information
Authority – Valid credible sources
Objectivity – Not biased
Currency – If topic that requires it to be up-to-date
Coverage –Enough information for the topic

What’s the process of awarding winning transcripts?

Members of the workgroup read through a month’s worth of chat transcripts divided amongst themselves, nominate a brief and detailed chat for review, and vote for a winner in both of the categories.

Can I nominate someone for an exemplary chat?

At this time, there is not a nomination process for exemplary reference awards. Members of this workgroup are responsible for nominating and voting for the best chat transcripts.

How do I become a member of the QA workgroup?

Contact Kelly for more information

Here’s an overview video and accompanying powerpoint