Full Record – Author

Ref Type: Journal Article

Authors: McCuliey,Lucretia, Reinauer,Olivia,

Title: Connecting with AIM: the search for a virtual reference niche

Publication Full: College & Undergraduate Libraries

Year: 2006 Volume: 13 Issue: 4

Start Page: 43 Other Pages: 54

Descriptors: ELECTRONIC reference services (Libraries), INSTANT messaging, REFERENCE services (Libraries), ACADEMIC libraries, COMPUTER software, PUBLIC services (Libraries), LIBRARIES, AMERICA Online (Online service), RICHMOND (Va.), VIRGINIA, chat software, virtual reference,


Launching virtual chat reference services at Boatwright Library at the University of Richmond has been an interesting challenge of "trial and error" over the years. After trying several different software programs and staffing options, librarians have finally found a niche with AOL's Instant Messenger service. The first section of the article describes a path of experimentation, including early collaborations with the computing services help desk, staffing patterns within the library, technical and financial challenges with virtual reference software, and attempts to get students to use reference chat services. The second half of the case study describes the great success with AIM service in the past year, providing statistical information as well as coverage of training and guidelines, advertising, and staffing. This article touches on a number of themes, including the value of experimenting with a variety of chat reference software programs, and the need for library staff to stay current with new technologies. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]; Copyright of College & Undergraduate Libraries is the property of Haworth Press and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)


M3: Article; McCuliey, Lucretia 1; Email Address: Imcculle@richmond.edu; Reinauer, Olivia 2; Email Address: oreinaue@richmond.edu; Affiliations: 1: Head of Outreach and Instruction Services, University of Richmond Libraries, Richmond, VA 23173 2: Social Sciences Librarian, University of Richniond Libraries, Richmond, VA 23173 Source Info: 2006, Vol. 13 Issue 4, p43; Thesaurus Term: ELECTRONIC reference services (Libraries); Thesaurus Term: INSTANT messaging; Thesaurus Term: REFERENCE services (Libraries); Thesaurus Term: ACADEMIC libraries; Thesaurus Term: COMPUTER software; Thesaurus Term: PUBLIC services (Libraries); Thesaurus Term: LIBRARIES; Subject Term: AMERICA Online (Online service); Subject Term: RICHMOND (Va.); Subject Term: VIRGINIA; Author-Supplied Keyword: chat software; Author-Supplied Keyword: Instant messaging; Author-Supplied Keyword: virtual reference; Number of Pages: 12p; Illustrations: 1 graph. Document Type: Article

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Retrieved Date:January 1, 1970

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Publisher: Haworth Press

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Issn Isbn: 10691316