Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Help us to help you

Happy 2006!

Here are some ways we can better serve you in the new year:

  • When you have a reference question, please call the Research Network at extension 149 or e-mail the Research Network .

    Each of us have days that we do telephone coverage. We really prefer that, in most cases, that you call us with your reference query. It may be a bit of an interrupter in terms of working on questions, but the tradeoff is that we believe that we get a better understanding of the query.

    However, when you call an individual librarian who may be out, or may be trying to work on getting the reference out, it slows up the process, for the librarian, and ultimately, for you.

  • If you have a complex reference question and no one is available, please leave a number so we may call back.

    It is a rare occurrence that none of the librarians are available, but it does happen: staff meetings, building fire drills, or occasionally, when we're all already on the phone. Leave us a message; we will call you back.

    Please do not leave us a detailed listing on the phone of the question itself, which 1) usually takes three or four playbacks to write down and 2) inevitabily, some important piece of information is missing.

  • If you are getting a lengthy reference question via fax or e-mail from your client, please analyze it. We have received questions with 30 or more bullet points, (REALLY), and we are forced to wonder whether the client actually needs to know all of those items at this point in the business cycle. Make sure the questions make sense to you, the advisor, because if you, who have met with the client, don't understand them, we, who try to parse this information from the narrative, probably won't. Client questions are often filled with jargon, and we'd appreciate an English translation. Also, with other advisors to serve, we often don't have time to work on questions with 30 or more bullet points, so we will have to make our determination as what we think is most important, or most accessible.

  • Please provide a case number, or at bare minimum, a client name. Now that we are inputting our statistics, we can't send out your question until we've entered your record. Don't clutter our desks further with your completed questions awaiting a number.

  • Generally speaking, we work on a FIFO method, first in, first out. Can we bump a question ahead? Sure, but at the cost of time to others in the queue, possibly including another of your clients. Please use "I need it right away" sparingly.

  • Why do you get some responses out of chronological order? Sometimes, on a Friday afternoon at 3 pm, I'll look for "easy" questions that I can finish before 5 pm. Personally, I don't like to start a question on a Friday and finish on a Monday, because I have to review what I've already done. Therefore, I'll look for requests for business lists, business plans, or other concrete items and get them out.

  • PLEASE do not give out our e-mail adress or phone number. We can only answer questions that come from NYS SBDC.

    Any other questions about how we do things? Please ask. We really don't bite.
  • No comments: