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Library Quarterly Report FY21 Q3: January-March 2021

A new chapter: Libraries Adapt to COVID-19


n March of last year Virginia Governor Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency and by the 17th of that month VDOT Commissioner Brich advised office employees to work remotely, so all four library staffers gathered essential equipment and started to "work from home." In months 10-13 of the ongoing pandemic we are cautiously optimistic, but still awaiting guidance on a more significant "reconstitution" of the workforce at VTRC (where the library is located). To date only Barb Neyman is staffing the library in person, and only one day a week. 

We made progress this quarter in how we manage LibAnswers, a system that allows us to answer virtual reference responses from a single online "dashboard" where we have automated the routing of: e-mails, online forms, text messages, and chats. We implemented the system in 2015 and since then have been deciding how we prefer to manage tickets. Some tickets were answered but never "closed." We realized we needed to close all old tickets 
to implement a new Quality of Service feature (see below), which sends a satisfaction survey to patrons as tickets close. To be sure patrons did not get surveyed on questions they asked long ago, we did some "spring cleaning" on old tickets, after which we turned on the survey instrument. As a bonus we now have fewer tickets in the dashboard, which helps us stay focused.

Also Worth Noting: 

  • We created two new guides this quarter: TRB 2021 and Using the SharePoint Mobile App, bringing our total number of research guides up to 35. In the first quarter of the calendar year those guides garnered 4,110 views.
  • We completed a video tutorial on Remote Access to Library Databases (an activity on the rise according to EZProxy statistics). That video appears on the library's Youtube Channel, which we hope to start promoting next quarter.  It is also part of a playlist sent to new patrons as part of an electronic "onboarding" welcome package. 

'Quality of Service' Survey for LibAnswers Goes Live
This quarter the library implemented a new qualitative feedback loop on our LibAnswers ticketing system. It took some time and testing, but we configured the system to randomly send a blind e-mail survey to 25% of tickets as we complete them. Patrons can anonymously respond by selecting from a 4-point scale, after which they are given to add an open-response comment. We are starting to get responses and will tabulate them next quarter.

Screen capture showing the quality of service survey for closed libanswers tickets.
The quality of service survey is simple, just select a response and provide a "comment" if you want. Responses are anonymous and flow into a special "Ticket Ratings" dashboard for staff analysis.

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