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Meeting Minutes: May 18, 2006

InfoEyes Advisory Committee Meeting


Catherine Durivage, Linda Rossman, Diana Sussman, Meghan Clark McDaniel, Robin Rousu, Kathie Corrigan, Joe Thompson


Online iVocalize Room


2:00 pm Eastern / 1:00 pm Central

1. Statistical Reporting - Catherine A. Durivage

Stats are posted through April 2006 on the InfoEyes website. We had 26 questions submitted in April, which is just one off of the 27 for April of 2005. Many of the questions from the past month included multiple requests.

As of April 06 we've had 99 questions for the year. 107 were received at the same point last year in 2005, which is pretty close.

2. Discussion regarding arrangement with OCLC - Catherine A. Durivage

Our contract year with OCLC QuestionPoint runs though Sept. 30, 2006, at which point we will need to renew our contract with OCLC. We need to make a decision in the near future. Last year our InfoEyes contract was through the Illinois State Library System. In the past few months there has been the launch of a statewide chat virtual reference service in IL, where Public and Academic queues have been created.

We will need to decide if we should keep our contract as part of the Illinois plan, or if we should have a stand-alone agreement with OCLC. The quote we have received so far from OCLC shows that there will be an increase of a little over $500 from the previous year. The current year's contract is $2135. Next year's FY07 proposed fee would be $2612.50. (A month or so ago we had been quoted a figure surpassing $5000, so this is indeed much less than what it might have been.)

Diana pointed out the benefit of us developing an InfoEyes knowledgebase, which may be possible if we have our own contract independent of the Illinois statewide agreement. Catherine and Sharon agree that moving InfoEyes out of the Illinois umbrella would be ideal.

We will ask OCLC for a 3-year quote so that we can more informed decision. Diana handled the billing last year, and Catherine will do so this year, contacting OCLC and requesting a 3-year quote. Sharon Ruda will contact the Illinois state library to clarify their perspective. A third option we could investigate in the future (besides the Illinois contract or an independent InfoEyes contract), might be a contract jointly with Maryland.

Once more information is available on the pricing options, we will either call a special iVocalize meeting to vote or vote by e-mail.

Catherine has also asked Suzanne Butte at OCLC for an update on accessibility of the live chat QuestionPoint service. It seems that accessibility was likely placed as a secondary concern leading up to and immediately following the QuestionPoint's "Flash Chat" transition in March 2006. Accessibility is reported to be a top priority again now that that software transition is complete.

3. Information Request from doctorial student - Linda Rossman

A doctoral student at Syracuse has expressed interest in doing some research involving the InfoEyes service. Linda sent the student a brief overview of our services and addressed her questions on how the service handles publicity. It's nice to see that we are getting some visibility in the academic library world. There has been an article in Library High Tech where the student likely became aware of the service.

4. Schedule, Questions, etc.-Status Report - Catherine A. Durivage

Robin asked if we had any information regarding what days of the week were most busy. She feels that a majority of the questions come in on Mondays and Tuesdays. Catherine checked on this immediately following the meeting and found that Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays do indeed received more questions than other days of the week.

5. Old/New Business


Joe highlighted InfoEyes in a presentation at the Computers in Libraries conference in March 2006, which is posted online at


Robin will be speaking about InfoEyes during upcoming events in Washington State, including the Seattle Public Library Adult Services meeting in July and at an upcoming tour of WTBBL by the Reference Interest Group of the Washington Library Association.

Linda Rossman and Kim Charlson of the Perkins Library have submitted a brief overview article about InfoEyes to be included in an upcoming issue of Talking Book Topics in the "In Brief" section. The publication's editor reports that the article is expected to appear in the upcoming July-August 2006 issue.

Joe will also be noting InfoEyes and accessibility when speaking on a panel that OCLC has arranged during the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans on June 24, 1:30-3:30 at the Royal Sonesta, Arcadia Suite.

Next Meeting:

July 20, 2006 at 2:00 pm Eastern / 1:00 pm Central
(Meetings now held every-other month)

At the next meeting, Robin suggested that we discuss quality control and standards relating to the replies we send to our patrons. It may be useful to also look at continuous training on good virtual reference practices.

Minutes submitted by Joe Thompson