May 21, 2002 – E-reference librarians can now help students with their homework help questions by passing them to an expert tutor. Library Systems & Services (LSSI) of Germantown, MA and Tutor.com of New York, NY announced today an alliance to integrate Tutor.com's Live Homework Help, an innovative online tutoring service with the Virtual Reference capabilities of LSSI's Virtual Reference Toolkit.
Live Homework Help is an online tutoring service that connects students in 4th – 12th grades to expert tutors in math, science, social studies and English via the Internet. Young patrons connect to a tutor in an Online Classroom for up to 20 minutes of help. Students and tutors can review specific homework questions using features such as controlled chat, an interactive white board and shared Web browsing. The tutors are certified teachers, college professors, professional tutors and graduate school students from across the country.
LSSI's Virtual Reference Toolkit provides all the tools to guide clients through online reference sessions without the hassles of software set-ups or downloads. It is an essential tool for libraries assisting patrons with obtaining quality information from the Internet or other electronic information services.
Now, LSSI clients can purchase Live Homework Help and offer patrons a seamless service. Students who need help with a homework question will be passed to a Live Homework Help tutor for academic assistance. The e-reference librarian simply sends the student to the Live Homework Help Web page where the student selects the subject they need help in and then connects to an expert tutor in the Online Classroom. The tutor receives the full chat log from the student's conversation with the e-reference librarian and uses this information to provide the student with specific help. Libraries receive detailed monthly reports including the number of students using the service, satisfaction survey results as well as student and tutor comments.
Several libraries using both LSSI's Virtual Reference Toolkit and Tutor.com's Live Homework Help service had asked for an integrated solution to benefit their reference librarians and patrons. Today's agreement provides libraries with the services they require to provide the best possible access to information and academic assistance to their net-savvy young patrons. LSSI and Tutor.com will announce joint promotions in the coming months that will benefit clients purchasing both Virtual Reference Toolkit and Live Homework Help.
“We are always listening to our customers to improve our services,” said George Cigale, CEO and founder of Tutor.com. “This alliance represents our commitment to working with our clients and our colleagues in the library field to offer smart, simple solutions.”
“Reference librarians have long struggled with what to do when a patron's needs go beyond reference resources,” said Arthur Brady, LSSI Reference Division VP. “In those instances, the ability hand the patron off to a pre-qualified expert tutor in a smooth, seamless manner is a great relief for the librarian, and a huge benefit to the patron.”
LSSI was founded by library professionals, and is part of The Follett Corporation's family of companies. For more than 20 years — and for the benefit of nearly 2,000 libraries of all types and sizes — LSSI has been finding and delivering new tools and technologies. Now, LSSI's Reference Division is taking this unique ability to identify and adapt technologies for libraries — bundled with superior training and support — to provide new tools and new ways for reference librarians to meet the changing nature of library usage. Additional information about the Company and the Division is available at www.lssi.com/vrt.
Founded in partnership with The Princeton Review, Tutor.com is the leading provider of online tutoring services for education institutions and individual students. Tutor.com provides a 24-hour, one-to-one, online tutoring delivered via its proprietary Online Classroom, utilizing the Web's largest network of tutors, and supported by powerful administrative and reporting tools. The Tutor.com Online Classroom enables learners and tutors to interact in a variety of ways, including speaking to each other live, using whiteboard technology, sharing documents, chatting and browsing the Web together. Tutor.com currently provides tutoring services for over 150 public libraries including state programs in California and Maryland as well as programs at the Boston Public Library, San Francisco Public Library, Louisville Free Public Library, Cleveland Public Library and Phoenix Public Library. Please visit www.tutor.com for a full client list and additional information.