Hello all! For those of us that are able to work from home, we’ve mentioned some remote services that we are providing to patrons during discussions and lectures. I’d love to create a space where we can put out ideas about reference services specifically, but of course we can also discuss programming and what tools you are using to provide these library services to your patrons.
I’m trying to consolidate this because my manager asked us specifically what types of tools we might want to implement, and apparently our library director is excited about offering Zoom calls for reference interviews. The reference staff, myself included, doesn’t necessarily think that this is the answer (both for tech and personal safety reasons, as we are in our own homes using our own personal computers), and that we should implement a chat feature way before we open up to video conferencing. However, Zoom could be helpful if we put our author talk events online. We’ve obviously discussed multiple times and in great detail the privacy and surveillance downfalls of Zoom and related software, so no need to go into that necessarily. However, I would love to hear about what you are using, if it is successful or not, and whether your patrons are utilizing these new virtual features or not. Did you create policies for video conferencing software or any other safeguards before you began to use it? Further, have you or your patrons expressed concern about privacy, computer literacy, or wifi access that could be impacting the use and effectiveness of these new tools? We have a ton of older patrons and I’m not foreseeing them hopping easily onto a Zoom author talk event without assistance.
I look forward to hearing from you regarding this!