If you are not a librarian, please go the the AskScotland homepage to find out more about the service or to submit your question.
AskScotland is a national virtual reference service that has been developed by the Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC) in collaboration with Scotland's public library services. The pilot phase of the project was launched in June 2009 with the aim of opening up the rich collections held within Scotland's libraries to a global audience.
In the current phase of the project, 14 of Scotland's 32 local authorities are signed up to the service. The project aim is to get the remaining authorities on board over a three year period. At present, the 14 participating library services are answering email questions on all issues related to Scotland.
AskScotland will move into phase two in early 2010, when additional partners will be welcomed on board and a live chat function will be launched. The service is funded by the Scottish Government through the Public Library Quality Improvement Fund (PLQIF) and powered by QuestionPoint, from OCLC.
Ask Scotland helps to position the library strategically and supports a number of government targets, while raising the profile of libraries across local government. Libraries have a history of collaborating, both to achieve efficiencies and to offer the best provision of services to their communities. AskScotland is a continuation of this approach, which will also contribute to the development of sustainable and responsive library services for our users of the future.
Working collaboratively through AskScotland will assist you by:
• reaching disengaged or socially excluded communities
• engaging with citizens and reaching out to meet them in their own space
• serving your citizens at their point of need
• delivering National Indicator outcomes set by government
• participating in informal learning
• providing staff development opportunities