10 points on IM in libraries

Here’s a barebones distillation of IM in libraries. I’m going to use it as a starting point for my upcoming cybertour at IL 2005.

1. Instant Messaging is free (minus staff time)

2. Millions of our patrons use IM every day.

3. For some, not being available via IM is like not having a telephone number.

4. There are three major IM networks (AIM, Y!M, MSN)

5. Y!M and MSN will be interoperable at some point.

6. Trillian is a multi-network IM client, meebo is a web-based multi-network client. Use them.

7. Having practice sessions in-house is a good way to get staff excited about IM in libraries.

8. Staff can communicate in-house using IM.

9. Libraries can choose to have one IM point of contact, or they can choose to divide it departmentally.

10. IM is user-centered and builds relationships with library users.

8 thoughts on “10 points on IM in libraries”

  1. Absolutely! I would also stress number 7, for those wanting to implement IM in their libraries, but hesitant due to a lack of staff knowledge or enthusiasm. It worked for me!

  2. This is probably a combination of nos. 3 and 10, but I feel like many of the IM reference questions we get at Colorado College are questions that wouldn’t have come to the reference desk if we didn’t have IM. In other words, IM is helping us connect with users in ways or at times that we just wouldn’t have if it weren’t for IM reference.

  3. This post, along with Sarah’s response to it and Aaron’s talk at IL05, inspired me to write a piece on IM for my library’s newsletter in an effort to get a little staff buy in for eventually moving to chat reference.

  4. I believe that every serious Library simply MUST have IM implemented as an basic service to stay in touch with customers.

    I’ll send the IT dept this page now ;-)

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