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.