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Successful approaches to teaching through chat

Frances Devlin (University of Kansas Libraries, Lawrence, Kansas, USA)
Lea Currie (University of Kansas Libraries, Lawrence, Kansas, USA)
John Stratton (University of Kansas Libraries, Lawrence, Kansas, USA)

New Library World

ISSN: 0307-4803

Article publication date: 16 May 2008




The purpose of this paper is to determine whether librarians at the University of Kansas are providing instruction through chat in order to develop best practices for training purposes.


The authors analyzed a sample of chat transcripts using the “ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education” to determine whether librarians were utilizing opportunities for instruction in the chat medium. Using this analysis, they selected the best examples of instructional techniques.


Students were open to receiving instruction through chat. Librarians who were most successful in providing assistance to students demonstrated persistency and approachability in their interactions.

Practical implications

The authors developed a list of top ten practices for instruction through chat which can be used for training purposes.


Librarians need to continue to develop instructional techniques to create more opportunities for teaching moments in chat. The paper raises awareness of the impact of librarians' demeanor in the online environment.



Devlin, F., Currie, L. and Stratton, J. (2008), "Successful approaches to teaching through chat", New Library World, Vol. 109 No. 5/6, pp. 223-234.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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