Full Record – Author

Ref Type: Journal Article

Authors: Foley,Marianne,

Title: Instant messaging reference in an academic library: A case study

Publication Full: College & Research Libraries

Year: 2002 Volume: 63 Issue: 1

Start Page: 36 Other Pages: 45

Descriptors: Instant messaging (Internet)/Case studies, College and university libraries/Reference services, Reference services/Automation, Reference services/New York (State), State University of New York at Buffalo/University Libraries, State University of New York at Buffalo/University Libraries/Reference services, Library & Information Science, Education,


Most academic libraries offer some form of digital reference service through e-mail or Web forms. Now many libraries are moving toward an almost-immediate form of digital reference: instant messaging. During the 2000–2001 academic year, the General Libraries of the University at Buffalo conducted a pilot project to assess the feasibility of providing reference through instant messaging. The libraries used the popular "chat room" format and America Online's Instant Messenger software. This article describes the project, its implementation, the software used, staffing issues, and publicity efforts. It also discusses the results of the project in terms of user demographics, satisfaction levels, usage statistics, patron comments, and librarian feedback. Finally, the article offers conclusions about offering instant messaging reference in a large academic library. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.


PD: Bibliographic footnotes; Graph; Table

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Retrieved Date:January 1, 1970

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Issn Isbn: 0010-0870