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|Strawbe||I love this game! :-)||0||Oct 13 2007, 4:41 AM EDT by Strawbe|
Thread started: Oct 13 2007, 4:41 AM EDT Watch
I have been Yahoo!answering as "Jagoda librarian" for four weeks now. Stats: 41 answers, 8 best (19%), mostly Arts & Humanities, some Computers & Internet, occasional Health, Home & Garden and Pets.
Amanda Pape described the method I have been using for picking up the questions - older, fact-based - I don't have a problem with my answer not being the first one.
If anyone has difficulties with question related to Eastern Europe, specifically Croatia, I'll be glad to help.
Keep on slamming!
|Anonymous||still answering about once a week||0||Oct 3 2007, 9:17 AM EDT by Anonymous|
Thread started: Oct 3 2007, 9:17 AM EDT Watch
I had good intentions for Slam the Boards, but unfortunately, this is a really busy time of the year at universities, so I've answered a handful of questions at other times. I agree with some other posters--it's really hard to find a question where the user is asking a reference question as opposed to just getting everyone's opinion. I did manage to answer a reader's advisory question (I never get those in academia!) and a few others where I identified myself as a librarian. Others, I've answered as a lay person. I have received a "best answer" but not for my librarian answer. I still look about once a week, usually during my evening reference shift, if it is quiet (and it usually is by 9:30).
|Anonymous||observations||0||Sep 13 2007, 4:23 PM EDT by Anonymous|
Thread started: Sep 13 2007, 4:23 PM EDT Watch
I answered 10 questions on Yahoo Answers. I experienced most of the same things that others (especially Kristen Pool) did on this wiki page. At this point three of my questions have been resolved, but none of my answers were chosen as best. Generally the first correct answer given was chosen as best, even if it was just a one-word answer. It seems to me that most of the people who use these kinds of services don't care about quality or sources, they just want a fast answer. This is pretty typical of what I experience from students at my university as well.
If I were to continue with this, I would probably concentrate on older fact-based questions (as opposed to those that just ask for an opinion) that still hadn't been answered after a couple days, where the effort I might put into researching an answer might actually be welcome and appreciated.
Amanda Pape, Special Services Librarian II, Tarleton State University, Stephenville, Texas
|MedRef||Yahoo Answers||0||Sep 11 2007, 3:25 PM EDT by MedRef|
Thread started: Sep 11 2007, 3:25 PM EDT Watch
I answered 5 questions in the Health category yesterday (3 practice ones the week before). The questions I saw were similar to the ones our virtual representative and our customer service get daily so it wasn't too much of a stretch or surprise. I no longer am astonished at what people ask "perfect strangers", but I am still saddened by the myths and downright wrong answers that are given (and accepted) by so-called experts. I think that Slam the Boards is so important to show how much ref librarians are needed in the Web 2.0 environment, giving quality, accurate answers to questions. I will continue to answer questions on my own time and encourage our Traditional Library to expand their expert services to younger patrons.
|lawilliams||Targeting boards||0||Sep 11 2007, 11:44 AM EDT by lawilliams|
Thread started: Sep 11 2007, 11:44 AM EDT Watch
I answered about 10 questions on Yahoo Answers as Lesley W., Evanston Public Library.
I wonder if we might be more effective if we picked a different service each month to focus on: first Yahoo, then Ask, then Cantfindon Google, etc. Otherwise, our efforts are dispersed over so many service that the overall effect is weaker.
One frustration I had was the inability to ask follow-up questions. When I'm doing Ask Away or IM reference I can easily clarify what the question is; with the boards there's no quick way to get that, so I often felt my answers were kind of a shot in the dark.
I was also surprised at the variety of questions, many of which were not what I'd normally call "reference". Often I felt I was giving more info than the person actually wanted; it sometimes sounded as though they were more interested in opinions.
It's clear that most users look for subject experts, (attorneys, doctors, accountants etc) rather than librarians who can point them towards resources. I hope Slam the Boards will broaden theri thinking on how to look for information.
|Anonymous||Slamming Answers||0||Sep 11 2007, 10:46 AM EDT by Anonymous|
|jpom||Conducting an evaluation||1||Sep 11 2007, 9:48 AM EDT by kycircclerk|
Thread started: Sep 6 2007, 9:25 PM EDT Watch
I'm teaching the general Reference course at UNC-CH this semester, and Slam the Boards has generated much class discussion. I've been considering adding an optional alternative to one of my assignments, and have my students conduct an evaluation of Slam the Boards.
Honestly I'm not sure what the evaluation questions would be yet. Eval questions could focus on the answers provided: Are the answers provided by librarians really qualitatively better than those not provided by librarians? In those services that have rating schemes, do askers rate librarians' answer higher? Send thank yous more often? Or questions could focus on participation: What percentage of total answers provided on Sept 10 are from librarians? What percentage of libraries in the US are represented? Probably we'd want to focus on both. Suggestions for other evaluation questions are welcome.
I've had an email exchange with Bill and he raised the issue of how we will be able to identify librarian-answered questions. May I recommend that everyone should include the name of your library in your sig block on Sept 10? Or use one of the <a href-"http://answerboards.wetpaint.com/page/Signatures+and+Tag+Lines">Signatures and Tag Lines</a> suggested on this wiki?
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|Anonymous||Yahoo Answers||0||Sep 11 2007, 9:44 AM EDT by Anonymous|
Thread started: Sep 11 2007, 9:44 AM EDT Watch
As a reference librarian wanna-be with 28 years of experience in marketing public libraries (and a background in journalism, which also teaches research skills), I used to spend hours last winter at Yahoo Answers. For me, the thrill was the research and learning about things I didn't know. In the couple of months during which I indulged my inner librarian, I had about a dozen "best answers" selected.
I think the idea of putting "real" degreed librarians into these answer sites is exactly right. If Mohammed won't come the mountain, etc.
|kycircclerk||New Appreciation||0||Sep 11 2007, 9:40 AM EDT by kycircclerk|
Thread started: Sep 11 2007, 9:40 AM EDT Watch
I managed to answer twenty-five questions yesterday (and did research for several others which ended up being answered well before I could answer myself!), and ended up with a new appreciation for Reference Librarians.
I stuck to questions that could be researched online, nothing that required an "opinion". It was very informative for me as well, as there were subjects that I knew nothing about until I was looking them up for a "patron"!
I answered several questions on Homework Help that were looking for specific information, but when someone gave an actual assignment with "pick a-d", I gently nudged the person in the direction of sites that could help. I agree with giving information. I don't agree with DOING the assignment for them. Others did it for them, that was their choice.
Oh, and several of my answers have already been picked as best! Not that it really matters, because many questions had multiple answers, but you do get that tiny little thrill that someone really appreciated your efforts.
|librarianpm||Slamming thoughts||0||Sep 10 2007, 10:59 PM EDT by librarianpm|
Thread started: Sep 10 2007, 10:59 PM EDT Watch
I think my biggest challenge was just not reading all the questions and comments! I did end up doing Answers for 10 questions, mostly ones I knew I could "slam dunk" in terms of finding authoritative answers to a ready reference type question. It is nice to have that cherry-picking luxury that we don't get "at work".
I was a little taken aback by some answers (by librarians) to homework questions, where they seemed to start off by sneering at the kids for submitting "homework" and then continued with general recommendations for where to search. I guess I don't see how copping an attitude like "well, I won't be doing Your homework for You" is going to make them want to get help from a library and promote our services. My approach with kids has been that you need to be more friendly if you're going to earn their trust, and yes that sometimes means giving source with the *gasp* answer (along with the advice about how to find it, why you trusted it, etc.) so they come back again.
Patricia Memmott (My Yahoo Answers at: http://tinyurl.com/2tdur9 )
|librarianinblack||This was very useful...||0||Sep 10 2007, 7:29 PM EDT by librarianinblack|
Thread started: Sep 10 2007, 7:29 PM EDT Watch
I really enjoyed doing this. I think it would be wonderful if we could do this regularly, perhaps the first of each month or something. Also, if we could somehow create a comprehensive list of links, leading to all of the Slam the Boards answers - something to be used to calculate our impact and also show how well librarians answer questions. It truly could be a point of national PR. It might be a pain to ask people to add a link to each question to the wiki, but it would also show our numbers in force. One other idea, especially for this day, would be to simply ask people who participated to fill our a survey, sending in the number of questions they answered - and in that way compile a total.
Thank you so much for organizing this day - what a fabulous PR idea!
Sarah Houghton-Jan, LibrarianInBlack.net
|Anonymous||In the midst of slamming ...||0||Sep 10 2007, 7:11 PM EDT by Anonymous|
Thread started: Sep 10 2007, 7:11 PM EDT Watch
I've been concentrating on Yahoo Answers because I find the listing of questions easy to use. The ability to zero in on a topic, then sort the questions by number of answers (I look for the ones with no answer) is great. A number of questions are obviously folks trying to get someone else to do their homework for them, and many are trivial, but there are a lot of questions similar to what I see when doing Questionpoint Chat Ref for my library.
M. Chantiny, MLS
University of Hawaii at Manoa Library
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