Its IM time: a case study of instant messaging reference for teens at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
Instant messaging (IM) (or Chat) reference is catching on in public libraries across the country. Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh launched an IM pilot, and as a student intern, the author implemented the program and evaluated results with the help of teen services staff. This study found that the conversational tone, informality, and anonymity of IM were particularly suited to the communication style of teens. She details the promotion of the service, reference interview process, ethical issues, technical obstacles, and scheduling conflicts encountered during the trial, then proposes strategies to improve service in the re-launch of IM service.
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