Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Answer: 76,998

Question: How many telephone calls did Central Librarians handle between July 1, 2007 and July 1, 2008?

It has been many years since we had the ability to accurately count calls to the Telephone Reference Desk. The new telephone system installed last spring has been counting for a year, now, and here's what we learned:
- Total talk time: 2,539.7 hours.
- Busiest month: January (7,542)
- Slowest month: November (5,349)
- Busiest time: 10-12 a.m.
- Slowest time: 7-8 p.m.
- Average wait to speak to a librarian: 1.5 minutes.
- (Red face, here) Longest wait in the hold queue: 28.5 minutes.

These were among the questions that crossed our desk recently:

Q. What are the health care benefits of federal public officials?

A. Slate reports that the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program is administered by the United States Office of Personnel Management. OPM reports it covers over 4 million federal employees, retirees and their families, and the government pays about 75% of the average premium. Benefits are listed on the Program's web site, and there is an interactive map to discover local coverage by state.

Q. What are the Postal Service rules/specifications for the format of business reply envelopes?

A. For this, we went straight to the horse's mouth. The United States Postal Service web site has a downloadable "Quick Service Guide 507a" that answered the question exactly.

What do YOU want to know? Call 916-264-2920 and we'll do our best to find the answer to your question.

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