Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Digital Information Services in the North of Holland : coöperation?

A Reference Desk or Information Desk in the library is one of the most important features of a physical library. Thé direct contact with your users. But in the future our users will come more and more to the digital library! I think equal services should go to both desks. While the physical desk could change/evolve to a more pro-active service, the digital service should get more attention in the meaning of: separate from the physical desk, more staff-hours and more interactive communication. Therefore the focus is on Digital Reference services. Especially today in the HanzeHogeschool in Groningen. The HanzeMediatheek, together with the University of Groningen (RUG) and the Public Library of Groningen, organised a meeting between their staff to talk about their digital information desks. They compared their current services, showed presentations of what software is used, held discussions in mixed groups about possible overlap and differences. Purpose of the meeting is to exchange information, but also to explore the possibilies to work together.
  • The Public Library of Groningen uses QuestionPoint in coöperation with the nationwide information-service @ladin.
  • The Libraries of the University of Groningen use Magic from Remedy and call their service Vraag & Verzoek (Questions & Requests)
  • The HanzeMediatheek has a digital services desk but uses no special software to organise this (yet!)
Aladin is looking to expand their expect-fields with more scientific subjects and thinks the RUG and the HanzeMediatheek can deliver the job. The RUG Libraries cán do the job, but they want clear goals and objectives between themselves ánd between them & Aladin. The meeting was closed with three decisions:
  1. let's make a knowledge-map of all subject-fields covered by three organisations together
  2. bring an "technical"group of all three organisations together that is going to look at the comparison of the two software solutions ánd at the possibilities to exchange calls between them.
  3. let's explore the options to work together more in detail in a smaller workgroup.

Last, but not least it is worth to mention that all three organisations offer their staff the option to :

  • make work-visits between eachother
  • to exchange staff for a short or longer period or even
  • a secondment

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