Doug Furiato, from Tampa Bay Library Consortium's statewide Ask-a-Librarian Service, loves statistics.
So when Springshare reached out to the TBLC offices to see if they had any interesting stats to share about their LibAnswers Ask-a-Librarian service, Doug was at the ready.
TBLC is the Florida statewide Ask-a-Librarian service, with over 130 Academic, School, Special, and Public Libraries participating. Their live chat and SMS service is open 84 hours per week, with 24/7 email reference support.
In early 2015, they switched to LibAnswers to provide consortial-level Ask-a-Librarian email/chat/sms reference.
Watch former TBLC'er Jessie Riggins present on this very topic!
Doug set up two Google Analytics segments that compare all September - November Florida-based mobile/tablet sessions with those sessions that came from networks inside the library.
Overall, 9% of all mobile/tablet traffic to TBLC's Ask-A-Librarian Portal, using LibAnswers, came from within the library.
In college towns, the percentage was much higher!
In monitoring Google Analytics, of the 700+ mobile/tablet networks, 163 networks (23%) came from inside a library.
These figures could be much higher, especially if the mobile user was accessing the Ask-A-Librarian services using their own mobile network and not the library's WiFi.
There could be many reasons why mobile questions are coming from inside the library:
Creating mobile-friendly library reference services is important, and not just for your on-the-go users. Users inside your library using your comfy chairs and in your study rooms / makerspace labs / meeting rooms need to access your virtual reference services from their mobile devices.