Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Internet Librarian 2010: failcamp

Ontario libraries' AskOn online research help. Skype as successful voip reference chat. VR no face to face means no vernal or physical chat. Does adding voice to. Chat make communication efficient, improve ability to staff, help demo searching. Chat software live person thought could use call me button, but it didn't work. They needed one voip client, chose Skype. Canned messages for convenience. Roadblocks to data collection, staff forgot operator survey, visitors didn't fill out exit survey, others filled out surveys when they weren't supposed to. Sixty percent initiated in public, seventeen percent in uni. Top reasons for not using ask on were that visitor didn't want Skype, were at a Place where install was blocked, or Simply ignored it. Visitors liked ability to talk and search at same time. Biggest reason for unsuccessful was not meeting technical requirements, places blocked skype, shifts too busy to devote to one question, and staff were too shy to initiate calls and preferred oment of pause that chat offers. Work environment not condicive to calling, bad environment, didn't have equipment. Switchigplatforms between live person and skype was too. Complicated, too many constraints both technical and human. Younger staff less comfortable with immediacy of voice, older folks accustomed to phone reference. Most visitors didn't have Skype and didn't know what skype was. VR only for certain questions at certain times. Need better voice to text transcription for chat transcripts to offer printout. Ask for call button beside text button. Fails in software, staff, equipment. Assessed how would. Move forward.

Krista Godfrey - fails in second life. First canadian uni on second life. Not necessarily useful for traditional reference, questions on how to navigate second life, not used for other info needs. Offered teen hours a week of reference service in second life. Did not have enough time to do traditional, online and second life issues. Technical issues in second life, not user friendly when first enter. Seen as for girls because was not a violent game like wow, students didn't meet there, wasn't promoted well, students didn't consider it a meeting space, so not surprising not a lot of students coming. Another problem is that you don't really know who people are by their avatars, getting a lot of general inquiries, not a lot of uni person pickup. Mcmaster stopped the reference pilot, but their failures may not be yours. Works mainly if your students are there like utx or san Jose state who have thriving communities there. Learn from other failures but put it into proper context.

Char Booth - UC Berkeley. A lot of the discussion about failure is narrative that you spin within. Your org and within your own head. Internal narrative. Need to build failspace into your headspace and be more positive about it to help yourself. Not who caused failure, but what can i do to mitigate it right now? Failsafing. Figure out contingency plan. At Ohio university, video kiosk pilot. Librarian would have webcam pointed at face and be displayed on kiosk. The tech existed, there might be market for video reference. Lot of blowback about staff, uncomfortable to have your face onscreen all day. A year long. It wasn't used for reference but for public relations and humor. Kids made out and saved images. Tried to use for PR and make fun of the experimentation. Lessons learned in small failures that may lead to pulling the plug. Need to admit vulnerability in certain situations professionally. Need. The confidence to know you can pull it off or gracefully admit where you fell flat.

Q & A: We record our library successes, any failwiki? Hello to. Dedupe effort, collect lessons learned. Subject resource guides set up as wikis intended to have students participate in resource building and sharing, but no participation. How do you get to okay with failure when you know it was a good idea and you dont understand why it didn't work? Be careful of having professional personality riding on success of event or service. Resource is created and people may be using it, but they may not be contributing, you've still helped. Look for what part worked and what part didn't. After fails, do you debrief with everything, or just pull plug and never speak of it again? If something does fail we need to still assess it. Rochelle is sharing an abject failure: proposed to create a tool for campus, was awarded money with a group of folks in project; at no point did they articulate expectations; group never in same plCe, programmer independent . Programmer interpreted what docs had indicated, and produced something no one needed. Lucky enough to get sick and took off for a few months, hahaha, but now she knows a lot more about project management and getting stakeholders together.

Fine art of managing expectations. Don't over promise, imagine worst case scenario. Many failures start with overenthusiasm.

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