Friday, March 07, 2008

Break on Through

My stepdaughter is doing a months-long project for school on the state of West Virginia. Part of her assignment is to write a profile on a famous citizen from that state. She chose the famed aviator Chuck Yeager, and we've since been inundated with the minute details of his breaking of the sound barrier in 1947.

We at the Research Network recently broke a barrier, though it didn't cause a boom or any other noise. For years, when giving tours of the library to guests, I'd state that we spent, on average, about 1.25 hours per request. I repeated that statistic so often that I began to wonder whether it was just a tale I heard around the campfire when I was new here.

Lately, I've been tracking that figure. Starting last December, we now spend on average 2 hours per request. Clearly, all of you have become much better in finding resources on your end that can help answer questions that, in the past, we would do for you. (I'd like to think that the blog has, in some way, helped inform you of these places to look.)

I expect the two-hours-per-request to become the standard. We don't mind the challenge. But as long as we have just the four of us, then expect the number of requests done per day to slowly go down. There's only so much time in the day.

Again . . . use your best judgment when to use us.

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