Information Services

Lightning Talk: Program Description Abstract

Quality Assurance in an Academic Ask-A-Librarian Service

Sunday, May 5
5:25 PM - 5:30 PM
Room: Columbus KL (East Tower, Ballroom/Gold Level)

Background : In 2010, the University Library, which supports nursing and health sciences programs from pre-licensure to the doctoral level, established a new model of centralized Ask-A-Librarian services, to answer all questions regardless of subject and origin, providing virtual and face-to-face, on-demand individualized research assistance to students, staff, and faculty. In 2012, phone queue software was implemented to provide efficient call flow and maximize customer service. Six years later in 2018, a phone quality assurance (QA) initiative was launched to include the evaluation of library inbound and outbound phone calls.

Description : The phone QA initiative measures eight areas of staff competency including, call opening, knowledge and understanding, communication, advising and problem solving, ownership, branding, and closing. Two inbound calls and one outbound call are evaluated each month for those staff who answer calls for the Ask-A-Librarian service. The evaluation results are accessible via a staff personal dashboard and are reviewed by department supervisors. Staff members reaching and maintaining one hundred percent compliance are recognized quarterly at departmental staff meetings and become part of the University's QA 100 Club. Since implementing the phone QA initiative in September 2018 over 8,288 inbound and outbound calls were handled by library staff and 305 evaluations were completed by April 15th, 2019. The library evaluation scores resulted in an average departmental score of ninety-seven percent.

Conclusion : The implementation of assessment to the Library's virtual phone service strengthens the Library's continuous improvement processes, enhancing the Library's quality and overall effectiveness in providing academic research and learning support to students, faculty, and staff. Future QA initiatives will include the implementation of a call library with model examples of excellent customer service interactions and an expansion of the QA model to the library's chat service.


Nita K. Mailander, AHIP

Director of Library Services
Grand Canyon University
Phoenix, Arizona

Nita Mailander is the Director of Library Services at Grand Canyon University. With over twenty years of library experience, she has a Master's degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois and holds a distinguished credential from the Medical Library Association’s Academy of Health Information, as well as a specialization in Consumer Health Information. Along with the Grand Canyon University Library staff, she is dedicated to providing quality resources and innovative services to support and enrich academic success, scholarship, and lifelong learning.


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Quality Assurance in an Academic Ask-A-Librarian Service

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