|COVID-19 ALERT: The library is now staffed Mon., Wed. and Fri. from 8-4, but librarians are available to assist patrons ONLINE during normal business hours and full-text databases are accessible 24/7 to VDOT employees from this site.|
Spotlight: Working From Home Brings 'Virtual' Records In Library Use
The library has seen dramatic changes in how patrons are accessing collections and services. Use of the library is still exclusively from patrons who are working remotely. It is worth noting that ALL of the library's collections and services are available remotely and they are getting use. In the past 12 months we have counted at least 494 "unique" users (our databases, which are our most popular sources, do not track with specificity). During this time, 37% of our interactions were spent providing "services" like: shipping, scanning, Interlibrary loans and conducting literature searches, while 67% of library use was patron self-service access to subscriptions. About 16% of users utilized services and collections.
Print Materials: Circulation of print materials has been higher than expected, in part because patrons studying for the P.E. Exam were subjected to reduced capacity (and at least one cancellation), based on public health restrictions. Patrons have increasingly discovered all print materials can be checked out through our Library Catalog and received with one click of the "ship to me free of charge" option. Barb Neyman, who has worked in person one day a week since last quarter) has been busy shipping, receiving and reshipping items. In addition to offices in Virginia, VDOT employees are asking us to ship items to them at workplaces in North Carolina, New Jersey and Delaware as well.
Chats Are Up: We have had high levels of engagement with patrons through e-mail and our LibAnswers ticketing system, however, the fastest rising form of communication we've see is through Library Chats patrons have initiated with us. This graphic shows how Chat rose in importance as a form of communication for the library since the pandemic started. It is also worth noting that chat is another "patron-initiated" service.