Results from the Book a Librarian Survey

Thanks to those who completed the book-a-librarian survey. It wasn't official or anything and didn't affect my job or earn me any financial compensation.

Most of the results appear in this very large image. You'll need to use the zoom feature. And the colors sure are pretty.

But depending on how one answered the questions, a few other questions appeared. So if you look at the results and see that a few questions had many fewer responses, that's because of the branching.

There are 20 sets of responses.

There were also place for comments. And again, depending on previous answers, some of those questions appeared to fewer participants.

In response to Please describe the experience (of participating in a book-a-librarian service), these comments were offered:

It is very convenient and helpful

Our students tell us ahead of time what their project is, so one can prepare for appointment. It saves time for everyone.

We wind up doing a lot of technology coaching, particularly with regards to the library's downloadable collections and transferring items to the patron's gadgets. We have also gotten a handful of interesting reference questions.

Mostly we help patron one-on-one with computer training. It is easier than trying to set up a class where everyone has different agendas for what they want to learn.

In the section for, Check all boxes where you think patrons should be able to receive personal assistance through a book-a-librarian, there was a final box for Other:

anything involving information exchange


academic assistance

And for the final question, the responses were:

Specific programs for searching library databases or free internet sites such as, usajobs,, google scholar, advanced google searching, medline, etc..

Academic issues need to be addressed.

A few of our branches have been using this kind of program to offer micro-instruction for software instruction, web searching and ebook help. But I was curious to see what others might be doing and whether a formal program is even needed since librarians usually assist patrons with whatever information needs they have.

But since this type of assistance would include appointment scheduling, it seems like it could be a slightly different service.

If you knew that you had a full half-hour with a librarian, what types of research do you think you would pursue? And if you knew that you could spend a full half-hour with a single patron, how much instruction would you prepare?

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