Reference

Questions Are All Around Us

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/search/tags:library%2Creference%2Cinformation%2Csilly/tagmode:all/">These pictures are mostly foolish</a>, but here's a small point: none of us had ever seen a cop pull over a cab -- certainly not a cab with passengers -- before this, so we were all rather curious about why. <a href="http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=cambridge,+ma&ll=42.372947,-71.094954&spn=0.004137,0.013518">In front of us</a> stood a question, an example of the many questions we all encounter every day, and it's the kind of question that few of us would ever suggest going to the library to answer. » about 200 words

Instant Messenger Or Virtual Reference?

I noted Aaron Schmidt‘s points on IM in libraries previously, but what I didn’t say then was how certain I was that popular instant messaging clients like AOL Instant Messenger or Yahoo!’s or Google’s are far superior to the so-called virtual reference products. Why? They’re free, our patrons are comfortable with them, and they work […] » about 400 words

Instant Messaging in Libraries: Ten Points from Aaron Schmidt

Aaron Schmidt’s 10 points about IM in libraries include:

  1. Instant Messaging is free (minus staff time)
  2. Millions of our patrons use IM every day.
  3. For some, not being available via IM is like not having a telephone number.
  4. There are three major IM networks (AIM, Y!M, MSN)
  5. Y!M and MSN will be interoperable at some point.
  6. Trillian is a multi-network IM client, meebo is a web-based multi-network client. Use them.
  7. Having practice sessions in-house is a good way to get staff excited about IM in libraries.
  8. Staff can communicate in-house using IM.
  9. Libraries can choose to have one IM point of contact, or they can choose to divide it departmentally.
  10. IM is user-centered and builds relationships with library users.

edit: URL fixed as per Aaron’s comment below.