Chat Reference Services Task Force: Charge
The RUL Strategic Plan Goals and Objectives include, among other things,
- developing "services that facilitate scholarly communication and support the research in process among researchers at Rutgers" (I.G), and
- continuously improving "services by utilizing assessment and accountability indicators that measure needs and impact." (I.J)
At its September, 2010 meeting, the User Services Council once again addressed the need for an assessment
of the various chat reference services and software currently available and the need to determine if a
new platform is feasible for our use. To that end, I am asking a task force to do the following:
- Determine and defend an ideal service model for RUL at each of three levels: minimum, extended, and maximum desirable hours of service and staffing needed at each level. Use existing statistical data in supporting your models.
- Recommend whether this should continue to be a volunteer service or a service that draws upon all public service librarians.
- Investigate existing options, including the current Meebo, for providing chat reference services for library users. At a minimum, include information on
- queuing and number of simultaneous users possible
- ability to provide FAQs for users
- adaptability for users with mobile devices
- ability to push pages
- flexibility for staffing the service
- Provide the pros and cons of acquiring each of these options.
- Be open to and investigate opportunities that may become available with VoIP installation.
- Assess the costs affiliated with each service option as they would apply within the RUL context.
- Determine what data each system can provide for assessment, e.g. number of dropped questions, number/duration of queries, questions received/answered per day/hour, etc., consulting with the AUL for Planning and Assessment as needed.
- Recommend, in priority order, the preferred options for RUL.
- Offer suggestions regarding the implementation of preferred options, including key actors in the implementation process, estimated time line for any changes to the current Meebo system, impact of a transitional period on our users, and suggestions for roll-out of any new service<
The Task Force shall operate under the auspices of the User Services Council and report both to the
Council and to the AUL-Research and Instructional Services. Anticipated deadline for a report is February
14 October 2010