Librarians On Call: an instant messaging enquiry service for Open University distance learners

Payne, Georgina and Perrott, Michelle Librarians On Call: an instant messaging enquiry service for Open University distance learners. Library and Information Research, 2003, vol. 27, n. 85, pp. 11-21. [Journal article (Paginated)]

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English abstract

From March 4 – May 31 2002, The Open University Library piloted a new, instant messaging enquiry service for use by its distance learners, called Librarians On Call. The service enabled OU distance learners to remain online using electronic library resources, whilst also obtaining instant help from a librarian, without the need to disconnect from the internet to use the telephone. Student reaction to the service was overwhelmingly positive, and as a result the Open University has decided to continue the Librarians On Call service. Exit surveys conducted with students indicated students preferred the Librarians On Call service to both email and the telephone, and that they found the service both beneficial and easy to use. The article details the results of the pilot, and also discusses some of the practical issues encountered whilst setting up the service, such as software selection and staffing.

Item type: Journal article (Paginated)
Keywords: Open University, distance learners, messaging enquiry service, Librarians On Call
Subjects: G. Industry, profession and education. > GH. Education.
G. Industry, profession and education. > GC. Computer and telecommunication industry.
Depositing user: Kristina Brown
Date deposited: 15 Mar 2005
Last modified: 02 Oct 2014 12:00
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10760/6067

References

Alliance Library System. (2001). Ready for Reference: Academic Libraries Offer Live Web-based Reference: Final Narrative Report [online]. Illinois: Alliance Library System. Available from URL: http://www.alliancelibrarysystem.com/projects/readyref/FinalReport.doc [Accessed 30, October 2002]

Broughton, K. (2001). Our Experiment in Online, Real-time Reference. Computers in Libraries [online], 21(4). Available from URL: http://www.infotoday.com/cilmag/apr01/broughton.htm [Accessed 30, October 2002]

Granfield, D. (2002). A Digital Reference Service for a Digital Library: Chat Technology in a Remote Reference Service. McConnell Funding Project Final Report, May 2002 [online]. Toronto: Ryerson University. Available from URL: http://www.ryerson.ca/library/ask/McConnell.pdf [Accessed 30, October 2002]


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