Skip navigation


Ask a question about anything!

Meeting Minutes: June 17, 2004

InfoEyes Advisory Committee Meeting Minutes

The meeting convened at 1:00 p.m. central time.


First Search Usage

iVocalize usage

Tom asked participants to share experiences using iVocalize. During a shift change, when the next service provider logs into the iVocalize room as "Librarian" that seems to bump the current service provider out of the room. Tom asked if everyone was comfortable with that? The little "doink" sound when someone enters the room may not be audible when using a headset or ear buds. Both Mary Mohr and Tom Peters have experienced this. Lori and Tom will ask the developers about ways to ensure that the reference service provider knows when a patron has entered the room.

Tom reminded everyone to turn on the timestamping feature for each chat message within iVocalize. To do this, simultaneously press Alt, Shift, and I. When room size was increased to 3, a new librarian for a shift sometimes entered the room before a librarian had finished a session with a patron. This is a problem because it makes the patron uncomfortable and breaches privacy.

It is going to be difficult to determine the basic information need of these iVocalize sessions, because so much of the communication occurs via VoIP. When people send Tom their text chat transcripts, could they indicate the patron's basic information need?

Summer Schedule

The summer schedule is working well for everyone. Tom indicated if people cannot work the desk, to try to find someone to cover their hours. If they cannot find someone, they should notify Tom, Diana, or Lori to see if they can locate emergency coverage.

Update on Online Training for Patrons

Tom Peters discussed the ongoing onnline training as an enhancement or complement to InfoEyes service. This summer we are offering five iterations each of four training sessions:

Training for Participants

Tom asked participants if they would like more training on ivocalize, FirstSearch and Question Point. He said that if participants wanted more training, he would publicize training sessions for new members Philadelphia and Pittsburgh and other InfoEyes members could participate.

Melora Norman said she would like to send more staff to training sessions. She said she would like to participate in the online training for patrons too so that different states could offer their own online training. She recently attended a meeting of the Maine rehab. Group and one of the attendees said he had attended an online training session and enjoyed it and appreciated it.

Monthly Update on Statistics and Usage

The May 2004 report is at
Although the total number of sessions was low, the number of practice sessions and interest sessions has really fallen off. This was also a time of transition as use of Question Point Enhanced was discontinued and training for use of iVocalize took place. iVocalize use began June 7. Our average turnaround time on email questions is less than 15 hours, which is good, considering that email questions come in anytime of the day or night.

OPAL Initiative (Online Programming for All Libraries

See for the project website.
There will be an online organizational meeting next Tuesday, June 22, beginning at 11 EDT, 10 CDT, 9 MDT, and 8 PDT in the OPAL Auditorium. Any library that wants to host and publicize a program can send the information to Tom to be put on the OPAL website.

Contingency Plan Discussion if Grant Not funded

Tom reminded participants the trial ends in August and discussions need to begin about what the group will do to continue the service if the IMLS grant is not funded. He asked: what are the bare bones things we need to continue InfoEyes? QPS, the admin module, and a two-seat iVocalize room? There was a lot of excellent discussion about possible options.

Suggestions are summarized below:

Overall, participants really like the Question Point email and management functions. It makes it easy for participants to see when questions need to be answered. Lori has requested a price quote from OCLC for a profile. It will be almost impossible for the group to purchase shared e-resources without the grant. Each library submitted their e-resource list to Lori who will share this list. Many states have very restrictive license agreements which would prohibit sharing e-resources outside their state. The group will work on how reference can be done with limited e-resources.

One participant suggested that we ask NLS for support since the new standards suggest reference service from talking book libraries.

Adjournment and ALA

Tom asked the group if anyone was going to ALA and wanted to get together. He will send a reminder out to the group to try to set up a time.