Full Record – Author

Ref Type: Journal Article

Authors: Houghton,Sarah, Schmidt,Aaron,

Title: Web-based chat vs instant messaging

Publication Full: Online

Year: 2005 Volume: 29 Issue: 4

Start Page: 26 Other Pages: 30

Descriptors: INSTANT messaging, ONLINE chat groups, LIBRARIANS, LIBRARY users, ELECTRONIC discussion groups,


This article discusses the differences between the use of instant messaging (IM) and Web-based chat in a library setting. IM is by far the faster of the two forms of live reference chat. To connect with a librarian, the user only has to open an IM program, then type and send a message to the librarian. There are a number of free IM clients available for both users and libraries. Individual clients are free for both users and librarians. There are also free aggregator programs, such as Trillian and Jabber, which users and librarians can use to monitor several IM accounts through one interface. Through cooperation, it is easier to be available for more hours. This is the typical model for many existing Web-based chat cooperatives. By pooling funds and staff resources, cooperatives can sometimes even buy an after-hours service to extend their Web presence to 24-hour availability. Training someone to use an IM program takes about five minutes, as long as the person has a bare minimum of comfort with computers. Training for Web-based chat, on the other hand, takes much longer–anywhere between two and ten hours, depending on the technical competency of the person and the complexity of the software.


M3: Article; Accession Number: 17362432; Houghton, Sarah 1; Email Address: sarahfaery@hotmail.com Schmidt, Aaron 2; Email Address: aaron@lisnews.com; Affiliation: 1: E-services librarian, Marin County Free Library, California 2: Reference librarian, Thomas Ford Memorial Library, Illinois; Source Info: Jul/Aug2005, Vol. 29 Issue 4, p26; Subject Term: INSTANT messaging; Subject Term: ONLINE chat groups; Subject Term: LIBRARIANS; Subject Term: LIBRARY users; Subject Term: ELECTRONIC discussion groups; NAICS/Industry Codes: 519130 Internet Publishing and Broadcasting and Web Search Portals; Number of Pages: 5p; Illustrations: 3 color; Document Type: Article; Full Text Word Count: 2369

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Retrieved Date:January 1, 1970

Editors: NULL

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Publisher: Information Today Inc

Place Of Publication: NULL

Issn Isbn: 1465422