Telephone Ready Reference Unit
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh

Sheila Jackson

1997 marks 20 years of service by the Telephone Ready Reference Unit (TRRU). The 1977 General Reference Department's Annual Report states: "In 1977, a reorganization of phone reference service, and the inauguration of a new unit called Information or Telephone Ready Reference Unit, resulted in a greater number of phone questions being handled..." The idea was to siphon-off the easy or general questions from the main departments so that the librarians could spend more time on the more difficult or research-oriented questions.

In its first year of operation, TRRU handled 65,891 calls. In 1996, they answered 119,262 questions. In 1997, they should break the 130,000 call mark.

Since the remodeling in 1996, TRRU occupies an office at the rear of the Social Sciences Department that doubles their work space. Computers with access to CAROLINE, online databases, and the Worldwide Web have dramatically changed the way staff accesses information. Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh was awarded a $30,000 MCI LibraryLINK grant that permitted the installation of a CD-LAN providing quick access to the Marquis Who's Who directories, Grangers' Poetry Index, Ulrich's Periodical Directory and others. Mrs. Michelle Ridge, wife of Governor Tom Ridge, presented the grant check to Director Robert Croneberger on Staff Development Day, December 2, 1997.