2017 Planning Committee Recommendations

Improvements for Ask a Librarian in 2018 and Beyond

 In response to the visioning and brainstorming in which the AAL Planning Committee participated in May, 2017, Ask a Librarian administrators will work to ensure the following service improvements are made:

Improvements to the Knowledge Base-

We are currently working to move the knowledge base to the toolbox site. This would make it possible to change the search functions and layout as well as enable the shared Springshare sites access without having to log in through the AAL side. The toolbox site is password protected, so no information will be made available to the public. Announcements about the move and training for using the new site will be made available as soon as we are able to “go live.”


Improvements to training include a more specific service expectations page, reference skills webinars, benefit sharing tools, and links to helpful resources which can be used while staffing the desk.



Welcome packets for new site coordinators and users will include a checklist of items to review and complete as well as helpful information about how to successfully integrate with the AAL Team. Site coordinators will receive yearly check-ins to confirm their library’s needs are being met through this service.


Software Improvements-

We have sent a request to Springshare about showing which department is answering the chat. We know this has been an issue since moving to the new platform and that it is not easy to identify if a statewide librarian is answering or if it is their local library. We are hopeful Springshare will be able to accommodate our needs or provide an alternate solution.


Desk Staffing-

One of the issues brought up is that we need more man-power on the collaborative desks. This includes asking larger libraries to contribute more hours if they are not staffing proportionally and requiring no less than 3 hours a week for all libraries involved. Local desk use has been shown to successfully divert many of the library-specific questions to the appropriate source first, and we will encourage and provide benefits for their use as well as simultaneous staffing of collaborative.


Your involvement in this program is the reason Ask a Librarian is able to provide its reference services throughout Florida, and AAL staff are working diligently to ensure you are equipped to be successful in providing those resources through this service. Thank you for all you do!