A reference desk librarian is usually the last line of defense between an inquiring patron and the sometimes frustrating world of online search. And to make work easier for reference desk staff, Gimlet, a product of Sidecar Publications LLC, can step in with quick answers and provide analytics along the way. Eric Larson and Nate Vick used to tally the number of reference transactions by hand, recording thousands of hash marks on paper that were eventually reproduced in Excel at the University of Wisconsin's engineering library. That's where they developed Libstats, a database to expedite the reference transaction process and record difficult questions.
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