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5 Days to Government Information Liberation

Yesterday I said I was going to talk about the Government Information Online project as yet another example of how government information librarians can work together across geography and institutional lines. In a nutshell, since February 11, 2008, about 26 libraries (private, public, academic and state libraries) have been using OCLC’s questionpoint software to answer email questions and host chat sessions from the public. In fact, I am going to be on chat duty in about 45 minutes from now. Here are some preliminary figures:

Total number of sessions registered on the system for emails and chats: 6,121.
This averages about 500 sessions per month.

Total for emails: 3,713 Total for chats: 2,408

February: 693 390: emails 303: chats
March: 573 315: emails 258: chats
April: 612 353: emails 259: chats
May: 492 314: emails 178: chats
June: 512 295: emails 217: chats
July: 460 281: emails 179: chats
August: 411 272: emails 139: chats
September: 596 382: emails 214: chats
October: 787 495: emails 292: chats
November: 586 389: emails 197: chats
December: 399 227: emails 172: chats

I think in terms of numbers and quality of service, this project stands as an excellent example of how librarians from a multitude of institutions can reach out to the public. The response, and support from the institutions and GPO, have been excellent.

I will speak a bit more about the service implications of this kind of model tomorrow.

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