That Instant Messaging is so HOT right now
Here's what I've gathered in the year or so I've been connected:
IM with colleagues works! I have planned conference presentations with some good library folks, cried on a dear colleague's virtual shoulder when things seemed opretty dark, discussed my upcoming dive back into academia with numerous IM library pals, scheduled training and meetings with my SJCPL colleagues -- all VIA IM!
IM is great for a quick shout out -- better than e-mail really... "Hey did you see Jenny's post about THIS?" will always get me clicking to see what cool thing is coming up next.
Libraries can use IM as a means of virtual reference. Small investment..big results. There are libraries that do this! Aaron is! I'm changing the article I'm working on to highlight this stuff instead of Virtual reference -- which, according too many good folks, is DEAD or should be!
And in general, it's darn cool too be connected this way and hear from friends and family from all over the US in this "in the moment" way.
I do agree libraries and businesses will have to develop an IM policy to insure consistency of communication and some protocols. Note, I said libraries will have too... because I believe libraries should take this new HOT thing VERY seriously!