As libraries across the globe quickly pivoted to online services in response to the pandemic, we’ve been seeing some really interesting early numbers that illustrate the size of this sudden change in library services. We wanted to share these with you, along with some information about what we’ve been doing on our end to support you all during this time.
Spikes in LibAnswers and LibGuides = Librarians hard at work
Since March 2020, we recorded these numbers in LibAnswers activity compared to March-April 2019:
- Incoming chats increased by 109%. To put this in perspective, that’s a total of 338,794 LibAnswers chats in less than two months.
- Our 24/7 librarians fielded 5,677 chats on the new 24/7 LibAnswers Cooperative platform. Each of these represents a chat that would have gone unanswered.
- Patron-submitted questions increased by 56%, which equals 303,273 queries sent via email, social, SMS, and question form since March.
- FAQ creation increased by a whopping 217% as 13,017 FAQs were added to public and internal staff FAQ groups.
In LibGuides, library staff created more than 26,000 new guides — that’s roughly a 96% increase compared to last year!
First off, kudos to all of the librarians answering this multitude of questions and creating new content quickly for all of your users. Each one of these numbers represents a person you helped during this crisis. These statistics show how critical it is for librarians to be able to share essential information online while you’re unable to provide in-person assistance.
What we’ve been up to at Springy HQ
It’s been an all hands on deck effort for the Springy team. In addition to our official update on the pandemic, we’ve been working diligently to support you while you’re helping all of these patrons so you can answer questions, share updates, and meet with them from anywhere. This has translated some pretty big numbers on our end, too, and here’s how we’ve handled them.
- As support tickets skyrocketed, the team adjusted its internal processes to ensure swift responses. Customer queries are up 27% since March 2020 compared to this time last year, and the majority of customer questions are fully answered and closed within one business day.
- The team launched a new training series dedicated to libraries transitioning to online learning and reference and managing remote workplaces. In March, training attendance was up 198% and video viewership increased by 211% compared to March 2019.
- We bolstered infrastructure to support increased usage to handle the extra load.
Speaking of training, we’ll be announcing May’s training schedule, which includes our new What is LibAnswers with LibChat? session on May 7th, in this week’s training newsletter. Don’t receive our newsletters yet? Sign up to get them in your inbox.
- We donated our platform to the Librarian Reserve Corps, an international volunteer network of over 120 medical, public health, and health science librarians supporting the World Health Organization (WHO) and the WHO Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN) with their urgent information needs related to COVID-19. Their sites were installed in just over 24 hours. Read our interview with them next week on this blog!
- In the coming weeks, we’ll be announcing several exciting (and major) product updates to further help our customers as they pivot to different service models.
We hope you are safe and well where you are, and thank you for being on board with us! We promise to continue to provide stellar tools and superior customer support to help you navigate this difficult period.