Research Help & Notary
|Total research help emails to firstname.lastname@example.org|
|front desk / walk-in||235||367||415||451||469|
|appointment / meeting||152||87||59||42||15|
|*these are no longer tracked separately|
|distance student / faculty||0||27||15||11||13|
|faculty / staff||107||198||103||150||96|
|unknown / other||58||30||312||28||30|
Research Help & Notary Notes
2018-2019: The notary service increased with its first full year. Research help statistics decreased this year both in Public Services and Archives.
2017-2018: A notary service was added in April 2018, which is free to all Tennessee Tech patrons. Research help statistics remained steady, but increased in Archives (Megan and Jennifer) and decreased in Public Services.
2016-2017: Research help was similar to last year in total number. Megan, the Archivist, does the most research help and accounts for the longer sessions.
2015-2016: Research help increased this year, which is mostly due to the new Archivist, Megan. She also accounts for longer sessions, increased alumni involvement, and direct emails. General emails to the reference email address are consistently low and may be discontinued in the future.
2014-2015: Research help statistics declined again this year, but that could be due to more questions being answered by the student workers at the front desk or by the patrons themselves with our website. We have put more and more information as self-help on our website so that patrons can get help 24-7 on their own if desired. We also have been doing more instruction to classes, which may also decrease the need for individualized help. As referenced in the 2013-2014 notes, chat reference did go away July 1, 2014.
2013-2014: All walk-in research questions are directed to the front desk, and student assistants answer these questions if possible (which are not tracked in these statistics). If the question is more difficult, the student pages the person on schedule to answer research questions, which could be a librarian, circulation staff member, or graduate assistant. Most likely the decrease in research help statistics is due to not tracking the basic questions student assistants answer. Previously librarians were answering these questions and calculating them in statistics. New statistics were also gathered beginning this year including how the session was initiated, session duration, who answered the question, if there was a referral, and what type of patron was asking. Additionally, the extremely low number of chat sessions will lead to no longer offering chat reference beginning July 1, 2014.
2012-2013: The hours of the research help desk were shortened after fall semester due to decreased statistics in the outlying hours. Fall 2012 hours were Monday through Thursday 8am-9pm, Friday 8am-4:30pm, and Sunday 2pm-5pm and 6pm-9pm. Spring 2013 hours were Monday through Thursday 9am-8pm, Friday 9am-4:30pm, and Sunday 5pm-8pm. Other changes this year included having a student worker on the reference desk during spring semester to help alleviate librarians' irregular hours. Once Summer began, Mei Hu, Catalog Librarian, stopped covering research help shifts to further focus on cataloging.