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ERIC Number: EJ813784
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-May
Pages: 23
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0004-9670
AskNow Instant Messaging: Innovation in Virtual Reference
Davis, Kate
Australian Library Journal, v56 n2 p152-174 May 2007
In late 2006, the National Library of Australia (NLA) implemented a trial Instant Messaging (IM) service that ran in parallel with the AskNow chat reference service for a six month period. The trial was a resounding success, proving both a demand for an IM service and the suitability of the medium for reference service provision in a collaborative environment. The trial also allowed the collection of a significant body of data on user expectations, librarian experience and the nature of enquiries. This article begins by introducing the concept of IM and discusses the impetus for its use as a channel for reference service provision. It presents and analyses data collected from user surveys, session transcripts, usage statistics, staff surveys and other staff feedback mechanisms, and explores the issues arising from the data analysis. The article concludes by discussing the IM system architecture that the NLA is currently developing, which will allow the Library to move forward with an ongoing IM service. (Contains 11 figures.)
Australian Library and Information Association. P.O. Box 6335, Kingston 2604, Australia. Tel: +61-2-6215-8222; Fax: +61-2-6282-2249; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia