Philosophical Question of the Day

So, when you get a phone call from a patron, but answer it via email... do you count that statistically as an email or as a phone reference question?

And, no, that's not a rhetorical question. I'm honestly curious--I frequently have to report these, and everytime, it makes my brain break. Please respond in the comments, if you have a method to this madness.


Anonymous said...

We count these kinds of questions as phone reference since the idea is how the question was received not how the answer was disseminated. For instance, if we send an answer by fax to a question received by phone it would be a phone reference not a fax reference question. Email is no different. Sometimes we receive a question by email and have to phone the customer for more information or to give them the answer. These are counted as email reference questions because they were received via email.

Tulsa, OK

Amanda (the librarian) said...

Being as that I inevitably underreport reference statistics anyway (sometimes it's so busy you forgot to mark things down), I would count that as both e-mail reference and phone reference.

But that's just me. At least that keeps my head from asplodin.

Auntie K said...

You need to work at a library where they don't distinguish between the two types(!?!) I know people complain about having to type up summaries of ref questions and answers, but think it's a great tool and I miss it.

Starrlett said...

Yeah, I really like using the tool, myself. In fact, we're going to use it to assess if GovDocs needs a scheduling change from our usual 11-4 hours on Fridays and Saturdays. I'm going to have a report generated from the database to analyze what times we get the most questions on Friday and Saturdays.

Of course, the email/phone thing is irrelevant to this particular task, but you know. :)

I think Suzanne's assessment is a good point, though, because it's the method of *asking* that shows how the patrons really want to be served, and shows what methods we need to keep open at what hours.