RUSA MARS Public Libraries Committee (Machine-Assisted Reference Section) Committee
Management of Electronic Reference Services/Public Libraries Discussion Forum: Assessment and Evaluation of Virtual Reference
San Diego Convention Center (SDCC) - Room 01 A
As our users become increasingly mobile, our libraries are reaching out with new methods of interaction, such as text, Twitter, and more. But how do we measure their usage? How do we evaluate their effectiveness? Can we successfully assess reference transactions in these new formats? Bring your ideas and success stories to share with colleagues at our open discussion forum.
I recently attended the virtual Handheld Librarian conference www.handheldlibrarian.org and would like to share some of the statistics and topics discussed there.
Did you know that there are over 3.3 billion mobile phone users in the world? And that it is estimated that over 1 trillion SMS messages are sent in the U.S. every year?
Did you know that it is estimated that mobile Internet users will grow by 19% by the year 2012 which equals to about 91.7% of cell phone users?
Do you have a mobile site for you library? Do you offer a text message reference service at your library? If not you might want to consider, why not! The wave of the future seems to be the cell phone; where will libraries be when the world begins to exclusively access the Internet from their mobile devices?
Want to see the mobile web in action? Check out these forward thinking libraries: http://www.skokie.lib.il.us/s_about/mobile_services.asp, http://www.maine.gov/msl/mobile/, http://www.bsu.edu/library/mobile/