Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Ask Us!

If you've been to the ABC Libraries' home page or one of the branch library pages, you've probably seen a box like the ones pictured above. Perhaps you've wondered how to use them, or why. The Need something today? box will do a keyword search limited to the branch page you're searching from, but you can ask pretty much any question using the Ask Us! box. It's like having a reference librarian on call!

In case you haven’t had a chance to take advantage of Ask Us! yet, here’s how it works. As you type in a question, you will see a menu of similar questions that have already been answered. Click on one of the menu questions and you will get the answer right away. This is great for the basic questions like “What do I do if I lose my library card?” or “What does error message OXC00D2711 mean?”

If the question hasn’t been asked yet, you can provide your email address and submit the question, and you will get an email when as soon as a librarian finds the answer. Or, text a question to 505-819-3563 and we'll send you an answer via SMS! (If you want to call us, use 505-768-5141, or call 311.) Currently, 40% of questions are answered within an hour. Over 90% are answered within a day. Once the question is answered, it becomes part of the public database, so the next person to ask it will find the answer instantly-unless it is a question about a specific account, request for an obituary, or other inquiries of a sensitive nature.

What kind of questions have we answered? Here’s a sample of recent ones:

--Can I transfer books to a closer library?
--What is the average temperature for the month of March?
--Can my child read to a dog at Griegos or North Valley?
--Does the History of Bedford,etc, counties PA [974.8/History] contain an account of the group from Lewistown who migrated to Everett about 1860-1870.
--Do you have old Albuquerque phone directories?
--How can I reach Doctor Oz TV online?

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