With 275 exhibitors to visit, I was hard pressed to get around to all that I wanted to see. But, at a reception one evening, another attendee mentioned that she’d been very impressed with RefTracker—so I stopped to see Arthur Brady and Linda Arret of Altarama Information Systems to hear about the reference and request management software. It’s not new—it’s now in version 3.3—but the capabilities it offers were new to me. Things have sure changed since my days at a reference desk (no, I won’t tell you how many years that’s been).
The reference department has always been hard pressed to report accurate stats. But, RefTracker not only handles statistics and analytical reporting, it can inform collection development decisions, provide a knowledge base, and much more. It’s a full work flow toolset for accepting, assigning, refining, answering, and reporting on every type of reference request. It accommodates phone/fax, Web forms, email, VoIP, instant messaging, text messaging, links to ILS and chat systems, and in-person walk-up requests. Brady stressed that it isn’t a trouble ticket system that has been repurposed from reference—the software was created from the ground up. If I were doing reference work in today’s complicated communication environment, I can’t imagine doing it without a tool like RefTracker.
Paula J. Hane
News Bureau Chief, ITI