Abstract

Driven by studies showing that Millennials (ages 18–24) have adopted IM (instant messaging) as a standard communications medium, many libraries are reaching out to their own patrons in this way. At the same time, some of these libraries have invested thousands of dollars in vendor-based chat reference solutions that provide duplicate functionality. This article assesses a pilot project that offered both IM and vendor-based chat reference simultaneously to users. Impact on workflow, staff stress, training, and other management issues are highlighted, as well as evidence of user preferences and an evaluation of best practices for offering multi-service chat reference.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1530-7131
Print ISSN
1531-2542
Pages
pp. 417-429
Launched on MUSE
2006-09-21
Open Access
No
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