Ref Type: Journal Article
Authors: Berndt-Morris, Elizabeth, Minnis, Samantha M.
Title: The Chat Is Coming from Inside the House: An Analysis of Perceived Chat Behavior and Reality
Publication Full: Journal of Library & Information Services in Distance Learning
Year: 2014 Volume: 8 Issue: 4-Mar
Start Page: 168 Other Pages: 180
Descriptors: chat reference, academic libraries
When looking for ways to improve library services, we considered what data sources were readily available to us and how we could harvest and use this data. We investigated three years of chat reference statistics at Central Michigan University, a large research institution, to gain a better understanding of our patrons’ chat behavior. We then compared the results to a survey given to the information professionals using chat reference, examining the perceptions of our chat service versus the results of our statistical analysis. With a large population of students on-campus, off-campus, and online, we looked at the incoming location of students asking for virtual assistance and which library queue chats (on-campus or off-campus) students are using. We compared many elements including, but not limited to, busiest time of day and year, length of response time and length of chat, all of which give us insights when determining practices to best serve our patrons. We concluded that several of our perceptions were inaccurate and there was much to learn about our patron usage behavior. We discovered many areas of discussion where there are potentials for improvements.
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