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Chat Script with the Houston Public Library

Posted by lizzybee1002 on October 16, 2007

Chat Session Transcript:
Chat Transcript: Hi- I am a LIS student at Dominican University from River Forest IL and I was hoping to talk with a librarian about the IM service you have. I only have a few questions and it shouldn’t take long.
[Librarian 10:40:18]: Librarian ‘Houston PL SK’ has joined the session.
[Librarian 10:41:14]: Hi Liz, this is Saima in Houston. I’m part of a national network of librarians that helps to answer questions for your library when they’re not available.
[Librarian 10:41:26]: I know several people who went to Dominican 🙂
[Librarian 10:41:34]: I am helping another patron at the moment…
[Librarian 10:41:43]: please go ahead and send your question.
[Liz B 10:41:59]: Oh Great! How long have you had IM?
[Librarian 10:42:45]: Liz we are not offering IM service at this point; only chat in terms of virtual reference.
[Liz B 10:43:18]: oh, okay. Do you find yourself helping people from around the country a lot?
[Librarian 10:43:35]: yes since we participate in QuestionPoint’s 24/7 cooperative.
[Librarian 10:43:55]: We also get people from other states and countries who use our service via our website…
[Librarian 10:44:10]: this is mainly for genealogy as well as Houston history purposes.
[Liz B 10:44:18]: How long has the chat service been active?
[Librarian 10:44:29]: about four years.
[Librarian 10:44:50]: we started with only about 15 hours per week then extended it to about 45 hours 2.5 years ago…
[Librarian 10:45:08]: we joined the 24/7 cooperative last December and started monitoring chats for other library systems in March.
[Liz B 10:45:12]: Do you find the extended times better?
[Librarian 10:45:34]: yes our patrons love the 24/7 access.
[Liz B 10:46:04]: What is length the average chat? 5 minutes or longer? Or does it depend on the question?
[Librarian 10:46:14]: by joining the cooperative, we only monitor 15-17 hours per week where we take chats from other library systems; the cooperative then provides coverage 24/7 including holidays!
[Librarian 10:46:43]: I think it really depends on the question. For example, my other chat was from a Houston Public patron about fines and it only lasted about 2 minutes.
[Librarian 10:46:52]: But in most cases, I would say between 5-10 minutes.
[Liz B 10:47:48]: Do you personally enjoy helping people via chat or do you like the face-to-face interaction better?
[Librarian 10:48:23]: I enjoy both but virtual reference is also very exciting and challenging.
[Liz B 10:48:42]: I can imagine!
[Liz B 10:48:55]: Thank you so much for your time, you have been so helpful!
[Librarian 10:50:10]: you’re welcome Liz. Anything else I can help you with today?
[Liz B 10:50:30]: Nope, that will do it. You have a great day! 🙂
[Librarian 10:50:36]: When I worked at DePaul University, I knew several people who were attending Dominican for their MLS.
[Librarian 10:50:54]: it used to be called something else at that time though.
[Librarian 10:51:17]: Thanks Liz and you too. Good luck with your MLS.
[Liz B 10:51:19]: I got my undergrad from DePaul! what a small world. It used to called Rosery College.
[Liz B 10:51:35]: Thanks 🙂
[Librarian 10:51:36]: yes that’s it. OMG that is so uncanny!
[Librarian 10:51:46]: did you go to the Lincoln Park campus?
[Librarian 10:51:50]: I loved DePaul.
[Librarian 10:52:14]: so did I. I worked at the library while in school.
[Liz B 10:52:22]: I did, I actually worked the circ desk in 99. It was the best experience!
[Librarian 10:52:49]: Wow that is way too weird. I was a circ supervisor until 1994!
[Liz B 10:53:33]: wow this is amazing!
[Librarian 10:53:58]: I still visit the LPC library whenever I go back to Chicago. Do you know if Kathryn De***** is still there?
[Liz B 10:55:21]: I think she’s still there but I can’t be too sure. A lot of people were coming and going when I was there.
[Librarian 10:55:36]: well it’s been a pleasure chatting with you.
[Librarian 10:55:44]: I must end our session now.
[Liz B 10:55:55]: Thanks so much again for your help, have a good day!
[Liz B 10:56:07]: Patron ended chat session.

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