Expanding and Improving Our Library’s Virtual Chat Service

Discovering Best Practices When Demand Increases

Abstract

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing shutdown of the library building for several months, there was a sudden need to adjust how the Hilton C. Buley Library at Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU) delivered its services. Overnight, the library’s virtual chat service went from a convenient way to reach a librarian to the primary method by which library patrons contacted the library for help. In this article, the authors will discuss what was learned during this time and how the service has been adjusted to meet user needs. Best practices and future improvements will be discussed.

Author Biographies

Parker Fruehan, Southern Connecticut State University

Assistant Librarian at Hilton C. Buley Library

Diana Hellyar, Southern Connecticut State University

Assistant Librarian at Hilton C. Buley Library

References

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Jan H. Kemp, Carolyn L. Ellis, and Krisellen Maloney, “Standing By to Help: Transforming Online Reference with a Proactive Chat System,” Journal of Academic Librarianship 41, no. 6 (November 1, 2015): 764–70, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.acalib.2015.08.018.

Laura Guy, “Embedding SpringShare LibChat Widget into the Primo NU,” Ex Libris Developer Network Tech Blog, updated December 17, 2018, https://developers.exlibrisgroup.com/blog/embedding-springshare-libchat-widget-into-the-primo-nu/.

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Published
2021-09-20
How to Cite
Fruehan, P., & Hellyar, D. (2021). Expanding and Improving Our Library’s Virtual Chat Service. Information Technology and Libraries, 40(3). https://doi.org/10.6017/ital.v40i3.13117
Section
Articles