Forsyth Library establishes research kiosk for online, text or personal help

Library kiosk

11/08/16 lds
HAYS, Kan. -- Over the summer of 2016, Forsyth Library at Fort Hays State University implemented a research help kiosk for students.

The kiosk was created by the library's teaching and research team working with the library's Learning Commons coordinator, Andy Tincknell, and Deborah Ludwig, library dean.

The kiosk is located on the research help desk and enables students to search the library's frequently asked questions, email or live chat with a librarian, schedule an appointment, request proctoring, reserve a study room, view library tutorials and view research guides or report access issues. It also provides contact information for the teaching and research team.

"We decided to move to an on-call system with a research help kiosk because most of the questions we received last year weren't in-person questions; they were online or on the phone," said Claire Nickerson, a librarian on the teaching and research team.

A cell phone, a new feature, was added to enable students to text for assistance. An automated appointment scheduling system was also added to allow students to see when each librarian is available for assistance.

Nickerson, Mary Alice Wade, Nathan Elwood, Lynn Haggard, Robyn Hartman, and Brian Gribben, library coordinator, are librarians on the teaching and research team who are available for assistance.

"Moving to an on-call system with a research help kiosk enables librarians to spend more time at the library during the day to assist students by providing more help and getting more work done. In addition, it allows the librarians to be of assistance in the evenings and weekends," said Nickerson.

The on-call librarian is available from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday for walk-in research help. In the evenings and weekends, an on-call librarian is available via live chat, email, or call or text to the office cell phone. Evening hours are 4:30 to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Saturday hours are from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 9 p.m.

The office cell phone number is 785-639-6180.

"The new system is helping us to be more flexible and more available," said Nickerson.

"We're a little worried that students won't realize they can talk to us if we're not at the desk, but we want to make sure they know we're still available."

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