AskAcademic is a member-based cooperative and partner of AskColorado, and is comprised of and governed by participating libraries!
Membership Details and Benefits
Operating continuously since Sept. 2003, AskColorado is proud of its service record and collaborative operating model. AskAcademic is the academic queue of AskColorado, and was rebranded as AskAcademic December 2008. Since February 2010, AskAcademic has had it's own stand-alone website. Here's how the AskColorado/AskAcademic Virtual Reference Cooperative works:
- Our organization operates on a model similar to public radio: We are member and grant supported.
- Staffing and software costs are shared by member libraries, and supplemented by LSTA federal grant monies from the Colorado State Library.
- Member library contributions help to pay our software vendor costs and a portion of the cost of operating an after-hours librarian service.
- Operating expenses, overhead, coordinator salary, marketing materials, and other expenses are paid for using LSTA grant monies. Currently, no state monies are received for these services.
- Our Contribution Chart outlines suggested contributions for libraries wishing to join the cooperative.
If you are interested in joining and would like to talk with other participants, please contact:
Contribution Chart and Joining | Membership Alternatives | Benefits to the Library Community | Patron Benefits | Library Benefits | Staff Benefits
Contribution Chart and Joining:
- We have a Contribution Chart that outlines suggested minimum contributions for libraries wishing to join our cooperative.
- When you're ready to join, contact the Coordinator, who will send you a Letter of Agreement.
- We always accept more than the minimum suggested contribution. Thanks for your generosity.
- If you want to participate, but feel you cannot meet the minimum suggested contribution(s), please contact the coordinator. We want to find ways to allow all libraries to participate!
- We accept additional contributions in lieu of staffing, or for reduced staffing. Suggested rate: +10% of suggested contribution for every 1 hour of reduced staffing.
- We accept additional staffing for reduced contributions. Suggested rate: 1 hour of staffing for every -10% of suggested contribution.
Benefits to the Colorado and academic library community
- The image of all Colorado and academic libraries benefits from this highly visible service.
- Collaborative participation helps to lower costs per library by distributing costs.
- Grassroots support is essential for ground-up, user centered services addressing real-world needs.
Benefits to your library users
- Meet your library users online when they need search help.
- Provide library service beyond your library hours, 24/7.
- There is a strong need for expert (librarian) presence on Internet.
Benefits to your library
- Enjoy a higher profile in your community and the state.
- Be part of an innovative and popular statewide collaboration.
- Reach new library users.
- Add another reference point for higher use statistics.
Benefits to your staff
- Offer cutting-edge reference skills for library staff members.
- Improve staff reference skills through training, mentoring, and collaboration.
- Connect with over 200 reference staff throughout Colorado and Texas.
- Get access to subject experts for those challenging questions.
The active participation of our member libraries is what makes us great! AskAcademic is a multi-state, collaborative library service, and we rely on participating from Texas and Colorado academic member libraries in order to continue to offer this popular service. Staffing and software costs are shared among the participating libraries and are supplemented by LSTA grant monies.
AskAcademic is a partner queue of the larger AskColorado Virtual Reference Cooperative. The following committees work to ensure both AskColorado and AskAcademic operate efficiently and effectively. Each committee is comprised of individuals from one of our member libraries as well as our after-hours service.
ASKReps: An ASKRep is an individual from one of our member libraries who represents that library and acts as the liaison between the library and AskColorado/AskAcademic. This person disseminates communication about the service to library leaders, and when appropriate, oversees staff scheduling and training, and participates in collaboration planning and future development.
Quality Assurance: This committee oversees quality on the service and uses evaluation procedures and feedback to maintain high standards of reference service.
Policies & Procedures: This committee develops policies and guidelines, and make recommendations for the AskColorado/AskAcademic service based upon evidence derived from AskColorado/AskAcademic experience, professional virtual reference literature, and communication with other statewide virtual reference services.
Software: An ad hoc group that periodically reviews software options and makes recommendations to the Cooperative about technology.
Add a Link to AskAcademic
To increase the visibility and accessibility your students, faculty, and staff have to AskAcademic, follow these best practices