InfoEyes Advisory Committee Meeting Minutes
Meeting time: Thursday, October 21, 1:00pm central / 2:00pm eastern (11:00am pacific / 12:00pm mountain)
Meeting place: Go to
Input your name and click enter to go into the meeting room.
Welcome everyone. "Welcome back, Cleveland."
Attending: Diana Sussman, Illinois; Linda Rossman, Massachusetts; Lori Thornton, Washington; Mary Mohr, LOC; Sharon Ruda, Illinois; Crystal Lentz, Washington; Catherine Durivage, Minnesota; Tom Peters, TAP Information; John Mugford, New Mexico
Financial and/or in-kind contributions. Payment arrangements and amount.
Still unsure of contribution cost for each library. About $1,520 for profile. Will we be subtracting Barry Levine's $500 contribution and/or Perkins' contribution of $250 from that? Will that figure then be divided by 9 libraries? Invoices needed by participating libraries.
Review of procedures. Who will input the chat transcripts from questions into the Question Point management system? Will we email our transcripts to the list, or to this specific person?
Procedure: After answering a reference question in the iVocalize room, email listserv (firstname.lastname@example.org). Use the subject line: "transcript." Body of email should include (cut and paste of) iVocalize text chat and a summary of what was said if the session included a lot of audio. Be sure to set iVocalize to time stamp chat entries and to show URLs in text chat.
John Mugford will input iVocalize questions into the Question Point management system as part of his in-kind contribution of keeping statistics. He will report statistics monthly, and will begin compiling statistics in October. Tom Peters will compile September statistics and share his statistical spreadsheet and written instructions with John.
Question: Will we be enabling the capability of transferring questions to a participating library within Question Point, and is this capability possible within our single QP profile? Mary Mohr will research this question and will explain to us how to transfer questions.
Does anyone wish to make other in-kind contributions? Illinois' arrangement.
Because along with financial contributions Illinois is still making major in-kind contributions with managing the project the three participating libraries are sharing a single two-hour desk shift each week. New Mexico is making the in-kind contribution of keeping statistics in lieu of any financial contribution. Perkins is making a financial contribution of $250. Mary Mohr (LOC) is making in-kind contributions such as the research described above and is working on accessibility issues. Minnesota, LOC, IL, and perhaps others will be serving on a committee to amend the infoeyes.org web site.
Lori Bell has revised the publicity to everyone's suggestions and will send it out later. It was expressed that there should be an attempt to standardize press releases for patron newsletters and for print media targeted toward organizations that serve the print-impaired population. The press releases Lori is working on may serve this purpose, or may need further tweaking for certain audiences.
Illinois State Library TBBS had their communications director write a press release that everyone can use by just filling in blanks as they wish (people giving quotes etc.). Perhaps that could be sent out to the list again.
Web and email ideas:
- Participating libraries need to put a logo and/or link at the top of their own web sites. This is a priority. Advertising an online service without linking to it on your own web site is like building a house without doors or windows and wondering why no one comes to visit you! It can be difficult to get changes made to a web site because it often requires working with another department within the library, but it should be done as soon as possible.
- Perhaps OCLC could promote InfoEyes on their Question Point web site?
- Use your automation database to collect email addresses and send a press release to your patrons with email addresses, as they obviously have Internet access. (Illinois uses KLAS for this)
- Send press releases to listservs for the print-impaired population. Lori Bell did a lot of this initially. Perhaps another push should come from someone in another state.
Incorporate into regular outreach:
- Talk it up at meetings with colleagues or at outreach meetings.
- Promote the service to patrons when they call in.
- Send press releases or be a guest on your Radio Information Services.
- Include a "question of the month" section in your newsletters to share fun or informative (anonymous) InfoEyes questions and answers along with a blurb promoting InfoEyes. Your patrons will be reminded to use the service. They'll be educated about what a reference question is (the public, blind or not, isn't necessarily familiar with the term "reference question"). Even patrons who aren't online will enjoy reading the questions and answers.
Conferences & Presentations:
- Give an InfoEyes presentation at your Regional conference this year. This needs to be done by someone from outside Illinois. We need to get away from the perception that this is an Illinois thing. This is a consortium. It's much bigger than Illinois. Several states are involved and should be recognized for this.
- Some InfoEyes conference presentations that have been done or will be done: Lori Thornton, Lori Bell and Tom Peters will present at the VRD Conference (Virtual Reference Desk) coming up in November; Several of us presented at the NLS conference in 2004; Diana Sussman and Linda Rossman presented at the KLAS conference in 2004; Catherine presented a live demonstration at the Minnesota Library Association conference in 2004. She cooperated with a blind patron who used JAWS to interact with her in iVocalize. The Voice over IP didn't work possibly because of the wireless connection in the building, but the rest of it worked.
- Presentations could be given at ACB, NFB, and AER (education rehab) conferences. You could contact the teachers for the blind in your state.
- If anyone wishes to give a conference presentation, Power Points from previous presentations can be shared and updated or adapted if needed. You could also incorporate a live presentation, but keep in mind possible technical glitches such as a bad Internet connection.
Several agreed that we need to enlist more regional libraries, partly to defray costs. Again, voices from outside Illinois need to be heard. Talk up InfoEyes on the LBPH listserv. This project helps us all to meet the potential new NLS standards for providing accessible reference. That fact should encourage further participation.
Grant seeking update
Tom and Lori are working on a Verizon grant to help fund a part-time coordinator position, the money for the profile and online training. They are hoping to get it done and turned in by the end of November. Verizon's calendar year 2004 money is spent, so the grant will be for 2005 funding.
Sharon Ruda will search her library's Foundation Directly Online database once her library renews its access.
It was suggested that links to "email a reference question" and "interact with a librarian" along with service hours need to show up at the top of the screen without any scrolling needed. Details about the service can be lower on the page. Service access links should be big and bold. Hours should be visible without scrolling because if people try the service during off hours they'll have the InfoEyes site in the iVocalize room and will hopefully refer to the service hours and use the site to send us an email.
Lori Thornton will serve on web site committee. Mary Mohr could also help with looking at how other virtual reference sites are designed and offering ideas, although she doesn't tout any web design skills.
Form for email questions:
It was suggested that we revisit the web form. Perhaps we should ask patrons for more information because added information helps with statistic, but also helps with allowing us to get clarification from a patron when needed. Suggestions: add city and phone number, and take a look at what the LOC form asks for, perhaps incorporating some, but not necessarily all of their fields.
Closing questions in Question Point:
Be sure to close questions in QP if they are adequately answered. If you're still working on them, need help, or are following up on a question, leave it open. If you are browsing closed questions and want to send the patron a follow-up response because you have something concrete to share, do so as long as not much time has passed.
Thursday, November 18. 1:00 central.
- Invoice participating libraries for shared cost of QP profile. (Mid-Illinois)
- Email listserv according to guidelines in agenda item #3 after answering a question in the iVocalize room. (everyone - ongoing)
- Tom Peters and John Mugford will communicate about statistics and inputting questions to the QP management system. (Tom and John)
- John Mugford will collect and report statistics monthly and input iVocalize questions into QP. (John - ongoing)
- Implement some of the publicity ideas discussed in agenda item #5. (everyone - ongoing)
- Look into whether OCLC will add an InfoEyes link to QP web site. (who?? Unassigned task)
- Continue searching for grant-seeking opportunities. (everyone - ongoing)
- Serve on web-site committee. (Lori T., Mary Mohr, Lori Bell and others)
- Revisit information asked for on QP email form. (Who?? Unassigned task).
- Close QP email questions when they've been answered completely. (everyone - ongoing).
- Send fill-in-the-blank press release to the listserv (Sharon Ruda).