In FY16 Q4 the library transitioned from the EOS Reference Tracking software (2007-2016) to Springshare’s Reference Analytics, part of the LibAnswers module, which includes a ticketing/dashboard for tracking inquires and a live chat function. The new system allows the library to track the back-and-forth nuances of customer service questions with greater precision and provides data on who is asking questions, when (time of day, day of week), where they are located, what type of question they ask, and how long it took us to respond. This quarter there were 418 total transactions, 179 of which were "reference" transactions. Of those, 45 were from VTRC personnel, 85 from VDOT employees in other parts of the agency, and 49 were from non-affiliated customers. This is interesting because it indicates that the library is increasingly being contacted by patrons outside of VTRC and VDOT, a trend which started during the pandemic and seems to be persisting.
The table to the right shows reference and research questions the library received by district/divisions this quarter (352 total). Added to questions received from non-affiliated sources (65 total) the sum was 418.
The library completed only one literature search this quarter for a VTRC researcher. This is unusually low (though not unprecedented), as our average since 2013 has been 5 per quarter. We delivered zero searches for the first time since 2013 in FY21Q1, though during that span we have delivered as many as 10 in a quarter. That indicates how variable this service can be, which makes it difficult to staff adequately.
1. Fatigue and Loading Implications of Very Heavy Vehicles and Novel Axle Configurations On Highway Bridges: Updated Search 2018-2022 (Compiled for Bernard L. Kassner, PhD, P.E., VTRC Research Scientist, 22 pages)
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