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A university‐wide, library‐based chat service

Donnelyn Curtis (Director of Research Services, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries, Reno, Nevada, USA)
Araby Greene (Web Development Librarian, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries, Reno, Nevada, USA)

Reference Services Review

ISSN: 0090-7324

Article publication date: 1 September 2004



The University of Nevada, Reno Library offers a general‐information “Chat with us” service through the university Web site in conjunction with the “Ask a librarian” service available through library Web pages. A study of 826 transcripts for the first academic year revealed that 80 percent of chat sessions originated from the university page. The majority of visitors were prospective students with questions related to admissions. Most of the chat operators believe the library should continue providing the university‐wide service. While university offices possess the information to answer many of the questions, librarians are skillful and patient when determining visitors' information needs, and were able to supply appropriate resources. Librarians were proactive in contacting university offices on behalf of chat visitors and provided e‐mail addresses, phone numbers, and URLs as needed. The continued collection and analysis of chat transcripts will help to determine the direction of library and university chat services.



Curtis, D. and Greene, A. (2004), "A university‐wide, library‐based chat service", Reference Services Review, Vol. 32 No. 3, pp. 220-233.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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