Many libraries provide instant messaging and VoIP reference services, how would you feel about communicating with patrons this way? Do you think users would have different service expectations when they use these tools?
Ever since the old days of msn to the Facebook chat of today I’ve always thought that IM was an easy way to communicate with different people no matter where they are. So if I worked in a library I would be completely comfortable with communicating with patrons of the library through Instant messaging where appropriate. I guess the main problem would be to distinguish what is and isn’t appropriate conduct and perhaps guidelines for librarians using the service to communicate with patrons would have to be constructed.
Some libraries even have “chat with a librarian” for short questions and/or the option to make an appointment with a subject specialist librarian for longer research questions.
A list of some academic libraries that offer IM services can be found at (http://www.libsuccess.org/Libraries_Using_IM_Reference#Australia). From this list it is easy to see that libraries all over the world are using IM a a way to communicate and answer queries from their patrons with many having “Ask us” or “Ask A Librarian” pages. I think today that most people are fairly familiar with instant messaging and would have similar expectations of the information provided by an ask a librarian feature.
So even though I thought Batman would be a fan of any sort of communication that doesn’t have to be done face to face, he doesn’t seem to be a fan of IMS. (Teen Titans Year One #6)
Just how many weeks can I keep this Batman thing going? haha