Full Record – Author

Ref Type: Journal Article

Authors: Schmidt,Aaron, Stephens,Michael,

Title: IM me

Publication Full: Library Journal

Year: 2005 Volume: 130 Issue: 6

Start Page: 34 Other Pages: 35

Descriptors: INSTANT messaging, REFERENCE services (Libraries), INFORMATION services, REFERENCE librarians, LIBRARY users, LIBRARIANS, LIBRARIES,


The article discusses the significance of instant messaging to libraries and librarians. Maybe your library isn't using instant messaging (IM), but you can be certain that a good number of your users are. IM is also making inroads in the corporate world, on the desktops of more than 11 million Americans. With such a wealth of participants out there, it makes sense that librarians jump into the IM fray to make their services available to their unique audience via this technology. This is not just any audience; many IMers are those hard-to-reach Millennials who grew up in the 1980s with computers and don't think of them as technology. "IM is essential because it aligns library services with the preferred technology of this target population of users–a huge mass of future library and information users who could, potentially and scarily, become nonusers," says Stephen Abram, vice president of innovation at Sirsi. But is it reference? IM reference works in much the same way as do other flavors of reference–just think of it as a sped-up email transaction. Questions generally begin with a cordial preamble, just like at the reference desk. With IM, the reference interview doesn't float away in conversation, it's right there before you. The types of questions received via IM are similar to those received via telephone, and IM works well with what Ashley Robinson, librarian at Pennsylvania State University Libraries, calls "just in time" reference: questions about library services, phone numbers, or a URL. Emailing articles from subscription databases and getting immediate patron feedback are also great ways to employ IM. In the process, librarians can truly be their users' personal guide through the information ocean. INSET: Libraries That IM.


M3: Article; Accession Number: 16675763; Schmidt, Aaron 1 Stephens, Michael 2; Affiliation: 1: Reference Librarian, Thomas Ford Memorial Library, Western Springs, IL 2: Special Projects Librarian, St. Joseph County Public Library, IN; Source Info: 4/1/2005, Vol. 130 Issue 6, p34; Subject Term: INSTANT messaging; Subject Term: REFERENCE services (Libraries); Subject Term: INFORMATION services; Subject Term: REFERENCE librarians; Subject Term: LIBRARY users; Subject Term: LIBRARIANS; Subject Term: LIBRARIES; NAICS/Industry Codes: 519190 All Other Information Services; NAICS/Industry Codes: 519120 Libraries and Archives; Number of Pages: 2p; Document Type: Article; Full Text Word Count: 1418

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Retrieved Date:January 1, 1970

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Publisher: Reed Business Information / Reviews

Place Of Publication: NULL

Issn Isbn: 3630277