If youâ€™ve ever heard about Ask a Librarian and wondered what it is and how you and your library can be a part of it, this informational workshop is perfect for you.
Ask a Librarian (www.askalibrarian.org) is Floridaâ€™s collaborative virtual reference service allowing users to connect with librarians via chat or email for assistance with reference questions and research. Open 10 a.m. to midnight EST Sunday through Thursday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST Friday and Saturday, Ask a Librarian is available to users 84 hours a week and is staffed by librarians just like you throughout Florida.
Part of the Florida Electronic Library, Ask a Librarian offers for free to participating libraries the collaborative software, a local desk option, an email management system and robust statistical reports. In exchange, Ask a Librarian participants are asked to staff either the collaborative or academic desk. We work with each library to come up with a schedule that suits their librarians and the overall Ask a Librarian program. The service handles over 4,000 chat sessions and 1,000 email questions monthly.
Ask a Librarian uses a software platform from InstantService, an esteemed and flexible software provider. InstantService allows us to offer libraries a variety of options. This means your library could host its own local Ask a Librarian desk, incorporate a simple chat interface â€“ similar to Meebo â€“ on your libraryâ€™s website, and so much more.
Learn more about Ask a Librarian and see if it fits your library’s needs by joining an online information session.