A question rather than an answer: how important is it to you to eliminate non-affiliate traffic? How important really?

I haven’t tried audio/video virtual referencing, but have used chat-based virtual referencing for many years. Originally the software we used required the users to type in their name (not even sign in) but we later moved to software that let them just launch straight into their question. The usage of the service *rocketed* -- and in the years since, as usage has continued to grow the more we advertise it, we still hardly ever get any questions from people outside the university. Even when we do, it’s usually people wanting to know about our resources or services – it’s very rare for people to use us just to answer their questions and then you can generally recognise and cut that off pretty quickly.

So based on my experience, I’d expect requiring people to sign in would:

·         Decrease usage from your core customers

·         Prevent usage from your wider community with genuine questions

·         Prevent usage from rare abuses of it by strangers – but is this benefit worth the cost of the above two?

Rereading your email it’s not clear if you expect users to sometimes contact you directly on this service, or expect them to first contact you through WeChat and you then refer them through if appropriate. My questions above cover the first case. In the second, if they’re already in a conversation with you, you probably won’t experience the issues with decreased usage, but on the other hand wouldn’t you have already been able to weed out people you don’t want to waste time helping?

And if, for a common example here, the problem you’re trying to talk them through is that they’re having trouble signing into resources….?


From: Code for Libraries <[log in to unmask]> On Behalf Of Charles J. Greenberg
Sent: Wednesday, 17 April 2019 5:09 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [CODE4LIB] Zoom web conferencing used for virtual reference

An ACRL colleague suggested someone on this list might have had the same

ZOOM <<>> is a free or subscription platform for virtual
meetings that can utilize desktop sharing. Some universities have ZOOM
subscriptions and have online courses with ZOOM to deliver lectures. I
have been pondering whether to start a real-time (virtual reference)
service with Zoom, particularly when either the academic question might
involve showing the librarian what goes wrong, or when the Librarian can
show the best practice for finding information.

I have had a couple of messages with Zoom technical support, and they agree
that threading the initial sign-on through our campus SSO would eliminate
non-affiliate traffic. Anyone have any experience with the script to
launch into a specific zoom account that would do that with EZproxy as the
vehicle for SSO? Or should we just put a link for that specific zoom
room on a web-page after the SSO?

Any perspective appreciated. Yes, ZOOM works in China with no VPN. We
would pair this service with WeChat for short answers that do not require
desktop sharing.

Charlie Greenberg


Charles J Greenberg MLS MEd

University Library Director

Wenzhou-Kean University

Building A, Room 309 (currently)

88 Daxue Lu, Ouhai

Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province

P. R. CHINA 325060

Phone (office) +86-57755870651

Phone (cell): +86-13738363714;

Email: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>

“*All things are ready, if our minds be so*.” Henry V 4:3


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