This week’s session of the week was submitted by Cindy Pitchon, coordinator of Ask Here PA, the Pennsylvania statewide virtual reference service. Cindy nominated this session because the chatting librarian:
- Identified the student’s grade level, which is extremely important
- Identified the student's libraries (not always apparent when patrons enter via a statewide portal site)
- Identified online resource available to the student from his library and explained how to access the resource
- Offered tips on advanced Google searching and showed student how to construct the search
- Sent reputable web resources, explaining how they can be helpful
- Searched the student's public library catalog for relevant material, sending results and explaining where in library material is located
Thanks to Cindy for her nomination, and for her thorough analysis of this session! Here is the complete session transcript:
Patron: I need help finding critical reviews on A Study in scarlet. Also finding the impact the book had.
Librarian: Hi, I'm [name removed], a librarian helping to answer questions for your library. I am reading your question now to see how I can help you.
Librarian: OK, is this for a college class?
Patron: no 12th grade
Librarian: OK, which library do you have a card number with to use the online article databases from home? Or are you looking for articles on public websites?
Patron: I have both the [name of city] public library and [name of city] high school. Public websites work too?
Patron: I’ve been looking everywhere
Librarian: I see your library has the "Contemporary Authors" database, checking to see if Arthur Conan Doyle is included...
Librarian: And your library doesn't give our service logins, so I can't check - are you able to see the library homepage in the window next to this one? [sends link to library’s home page]
Librarian: On the upper left under "Resources", you can click on "Databases".
Librarian: Then scroll down and click on "Literature", and you see a link there to "Contemporary Authors".
Librarian: A Google search, using quotes for an exact phrase search, for - "A Study in Scarlet" site:.edu - finds useful college and university webpages on the book, such as: http://www.indiana.edu/~liblilly/holmes/origin.shtml
Patron: i dont see how i can use that link
Librarian: That 1st link says: "A Study in Scarlet grew steadily in popularity, strongly assisted by the short stories which began to appear in The Strand Magazine in 1891. By 1892 seven editions or printings had been issued."
Librarian: So that is useful for your question about the book's impact.
Librarian: The last link I sent is to a 32 page honors paper on Sherlock Holmes, and you can search it for the word - Scarlet - to find material about the book.
Patron: Okay thank you
Librarian: And this page is about the banning of the book: http://bannedbooks.world.edu/2011/08/21/banned-books-awareness-sherlock-holmes/
Librarian: "...a school board in Albemarle County, Virginia, removed the book from its sixth grade reading list over unsubstantiated fears that the author was anti-Mormon."
Librarian: For more material, you could use books from the library about Arthur Conan Doyle's writing.
Patron: okay thank you. You have been a big help.
Librarian: And the library has these 85 books: [librarian sends link to search results from library catalog showing Arthur Conan Doyle as the subject]
Librarian: And these 2 of literary criticism: [librarian sends link to search results narrowing the above search to literary criticism]
Librarian: Those are in the Biography section of the library, and also in the 823.912 shelf call number area.
Librarian: When our session ends you'll see a screen with our chat and any links, that can also be saved, printed or emailed.
Librarian: You're welcome. Let us know if we can be of further assistance.
If you would like to nominate a session, send it Quality [click on the Send to Quality link in the complete session view in the Review Transcripts tab, or email either email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org] and I’ll send a compliment to the chatting librarian as well. Thanks again to all who have submitted a SOTW; I’ll be posting those in the coming weeks!