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Reaching Out Via Chat Qwidget and Text Messaging


Patron questions have been declining for the past several years at the UCSD Biomedical Library (BML). Reference services were being offered via email, chat, Instant Messaging (IM), in-person and telephone. Our students, faculty, and staff were not always able to easily find our Ask a Librarian page that describes our services, so a new graphic was added to the UCSD Libraries homepage. Other solutions to increase usage were investigated.

When OCLC QuestionPoint made available their Qwidget (chat widget), we decided to add it to our web pages in August 2008 to see if more questions would be submitted. In September 2008, we also implemented a pilot program for a text messaging option using Meebo and the free AIM Hack. This poster presents the results of adding these two user-friendly and more visible choices for our patrons.

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