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Plugged in and iPod'ed Up

From Beatrice at edifice ref comes this gem of a post, looking at the start of a new semester at Providence College Phillips Memorial Library :

"Just coming up for a bit of air after 3 solid weeks of back-to-school activities. This is my first full “fall” semester and it has been a doozy. I haven’t done a tally, but I have to believe the early indicators that our new IM service is a big hit. We launched on the first day of classes, sent campus-wide emails the following week, and we’re now receiving several IMs a day. Lot of reserves queries, messages for full-text assistance, longish reference questions and research appointment requests. I have also personally witnessed my share of “hi library” pulse checking IMs.

The new kids are sooooooo plugged in. They come to the library in search of usb ports to download the papers stored on their Ipods. They are sprawled all over the library with their own laptops, wander through the reference collection, and more importantly, ask lots of questions about our services.

The staff here also seems to be keen on IM, which is great. I won’t say we’re fighting over them, but everyone is eager to answer them. We are also dealing with privacy issues (storage, chat cleansing, etc.) and different levels of comfort using IM. I created two FAQ’s—one for patrons and one for us. It’s a process, and all of the anecdotal feedback I am receiving will be very useful for my November talk to public librarians about launching an IM service."

Hey Beatrice..can we see those FAQ's?

For everyone: This speaks to me. What more proof do we need that our young users are plugged in, turned on to the wired ways of collaboration and communication and comfortable using IM to ask questions at the library. Are we comfortable? Can we handle this "conversation?"

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