more detail in the "we like" sections maybe?
Since this is a wiki, I'd like to see the people who are recommending vendors/products give some reasons for why they like that software or at least sign their edits when they add vendors. There is nothing to keep vendors from coming here and adding their own software and I'd just like to make sure these recommendations come from people who actually use and like the software. Jessamyn 12:29, 8 Jul 2005 (EDT)
Good idea. I'll ask people to at least sign their recommendations. -- Meredith
I was the one who added the WBC vendors; sorry about not signing my edits. I think you're right that there should be some reasoning behind why "we like" certain vendors - but there should also be some reasoning behind why "we like" IM. I didn't see that, at least not specifically labeled as such. What I do see are 3 headings for IM and only one for WBC tools (unless you count the Jybe heading), not to mention that the blog section includes mostly people who have written articles about IM, and the specific blog posts and articles all have to do with IM. While I'm in favour of IM, I don't think it's fair to present IM alone as a best practice for virtual reference. Perhaps we'd be better off changing the headings from "Software We Like" to "Web-based chat software/vendor options" and "IM software options" (making a point to differentiate between programs/networks such as AIM/MSN/Yahoo! and client options such as Gaim/Trillian/iChat). Each software option could have its own page, which would include its features, prices (if possible/relevant), a list of libraries/consortia using that software, any literature about libraries using that software, and a space for librarians to share positive and negative feedback about the software. What do you think? Rikhei 14:14, 8 July 2005 (EDT)
I think IM is a style of virtual reference that is gaining traction. I do think that a page that outlined the different tools which included the information you suggest would be an asset, and that having the software page be mostly about IM is probably something that the page will grow out of once there are more contributors. Jessamyn 19:48, 8 Jul 2005 (EDT)
The thing about a wiki is that people need to add the stuff they know about. The people who posted thus far (me included) have been mostly proponents of IM Reference. I figure all of the sections will get fattened up once people start adding more things (it's just started developing). Feel free to add whatever sections you want. I expect things to grow and change into every section and for each section to have separate pages and subsections as things develop. Meredith 20:10 CT, 8 July 2005
Is it IM Reference?
Do the Universities of Toronto and Western Ontario provide IM Reference or proprietary web-based virtual reference services? From their websites it looks like it's the latter of the two, but I don't want to erase this without some confirmation either way. --Meredith 22:19, July 13 2005 (EDT)
Meredith, looks like UT uses Docutek, and UWO uses LivePerson, which are both WBC. Rikhei 12:55, 14 Jul 2005 (EDT)
What is Jybe, really?
I was just wondering...doesn't Jybe count as web-based chat? When we say "web-based", does that mean that we have to use a browser in order to chat, or does it mean that we have to access a certain web page in order to chat? Might I recommend "browser-based chat" as a description for Jybe? Just a thought... Rikhei 16:33, 14 Jul 2005 (EDT)
IM at the refdesk or from office?
We already use IM for reference on the small liberal arts college where I'm a librarian. However, we've been using individual handles for each librarian and only offering the service during regular business hours from 8:45am-5pm (each librarian manages his/her handle from his/her own desk). My sense is that we're not getting much traffic and I'm proposing moving to one library handle and having the service staffed from the reference desk instead, which means until 10pm at night! (then marketing the new service to see if we can increase traffic). My team is concerned that we can't handle IM service in addition to refdesk duties--specific concerns are 1. that it might appear to in-person users that we're being rude/distracted and 2. that we'll have to stop IM chats midstream and we'll lose those patrons. The literature that I read on this wiki went both ways on this matter: with some libraries enthusiastically taking on IM at the desk and others saying that they couldn't swing it. Any thoughts on what I can do to convince my team? Our pace at the refdesk isn't that quick to begin with and I'm convinced that streamlining, adding hours, and marketing will increase traffic...but I need to back it up. Thanks. -- RMetzger