Notes from the Field #2

Part 2: Library Chat

At my library we have a library chat function. (This is present at many academic libraries - even Simmons Library!) I love library chat. As I mentioned in my previous post, Notes from the Field

#1, I try to keep the chat window unobstructed throughout the day because I like to respond as soon as possible. Even if I say "Be right with you I am helping another patron" I like the person on the other end to know I am a real person and I am at the computer. In my Reference and Social Informatics classes we discussed library chat. I was always a fan of chat because I grew up with AIM and I gchat and fbchat all the time while I am at home. Library chat is another way to reach out to patrons and seems effective on pulling in some of the more shy patrons. On some occasions the chat can lead to research consultations. (Those are sit down meetings between a librarian and either a single or small group of students.) Right now we use Meebo for our library chat, but we are looking into some other chat services such as Library H3lp. Library H3lp also includes a text a librarian feature that we do not have at this time but we are polling students to figure out if it is a service we want. At Simmons GSLIS they stress the need to stay as up to date as possible with technology. I will keep you up to date on the library chat situation, we just started talking about the library chat change this week. Has anyone ever used a library chat service before? (As a patron or library staff member?)

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