Prior to COVID-19, the Dartmouth College Biomedical Libraries had all staff -- not just librarians -- using LibAnswers for reference questions, information services interactions, and data collection. During the shift to remote work, this system was refined to facilitate our information services staff (whose job is mainly based on site, at the desk) working from home and increase their responsibilities for virtual patron interactions. Staff have received ample training in LibAnswers and in basic reference skills, and librarians now only respond to tickets or chats if they are transferred one by a staff member. Staff are trusted and empowered to utilize and expand upon their own knowledge, patrons receive responses faster, and librarians have time to dedicate to research and literature searching needs. This presentation will cover the details of how this model works, and how it can benefit libraries and their staff not just as the pandemic extends remote work arrangements but also as we look to the future of staff roles and library services.
Amanda Scull is Head of Education and Information Services at the Dartmouth College Biomedical Libraries. She earned her MLIS from Syracuse University and previously held positions at Keene State College and the SIT Graduate Institute. Her professional and scholarly background includes collection management, open access and scholarly communication, staff development, and information literacy and education.
Library Type: Academic/Medical Library
Demographic Served: Geisel School of Medicine students and faculty, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center staff, clinicians, and residents/fellows, Dartmouth College students, faculty, and staff
Population Size: FTE approx. 10,000 with both College and medical center
Staff Size: 15
Plan for Fall 2020: IE in-person and virtual instruction: Hybrid in person and online