Archive for January, 2010

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Gimlet – Library Desk Stats

Hi!  We’re Sidecar, the company behind Gimlet — the best library desk stats tool around.


Turn your questions into statistics

Gimlet helps you turn questions into statistics.

You answer questions all day at work. People ask questions at the reference desk, in the computer lab, via email or IM. Some of these questions are easy: “Where’s the bathroom?” But many of these questions are also extremely hard: “I need to calculate the tensile strength of a rope… can you help me with that?”

So how do you keep track of all those questions? More importantly, how do you record all those great answers?

Record your questions

Gimlet helps you leverage your questions and answers (Q&As), recording the full-text of the reference interaction, along with fields to categorize the question via five fundamental facets:

Question Facet Example Value
Duration 15 minutes
Type Reference or Directional
Questioner Student or Professor
Format Email, Phone or IM
Location Reference Desk or Computer Lab

You can customize Gimlet to record any value for these basic elements you need to capture. Instead of student or professor, maybe you need to track class: freshman, sophomore, junior or senior. You decide how to shape your account.

In addition to these five facets, we can optionally collect question difficulty or tags to more richly describe the Q&As.

Search your answers

Gimlet creates a knowledge-base of your libraries Q&As. Quickly your Gimlet account becomes indispensable, full of valuable answers to questions anyone on your staff can search.

Need to find that question you answered last month on EPA guidelines? It’s easy. Want everyone on staff to answer a common question identically? In Gimlet you can “star” the question and that Q&A will always rise to the top of your search results.

Build rich reports

Gimlet helps you better understand the service you provide your customers. Want to know when your desk will be its busiest on Tuesdays? Maybe you want to follow up on the most recent, most difficult questions with a staff training workshop? Simply put: Gimlet allows you to know when and how to staff your desk.

Your data is yours

Worried about vendor lock in? Don’t be. With Gimlet, you can export your entire account’s data anytime you wish. This feature is free, forever. We double-promise.

It’s free – reports cost a tiny bit extra

You can try Gimlet for free. In fact, you can continue to use Gimlet for free as long as you wish. However, Gimlet does have very powerful reporting tools that you’ll love. You can generate charts, graphs, data tables and export Q&As to Excel. All for just $10/month per library.

We’ll be posting regularly about ways your library can benefit from making Gimlet your favorite new reference tool. Along the way, please feel free to drop a comment or email us at support@gimlet.us if you have any questions.

Cheers!
-The Gimlet Team

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January 31st, 2010  |  Published in Gimlet