Library patrons can now interact with the IRC’s reference librarian, Connie James-Jenkin, via real time chat on the IRC website. When Connie is available in the IRC and monitoring the online chat, there will be a box at the bottom of the IRC website that patrons can enter questions into, which Connie will answer. When the IRC is closed or Connie is unavailable, there will be a message asking patrons to email questions.
Whether patrons are looking for help with homework, or need suggestions for a book or DVD, the IM/Chat Help is available.
To use IM/Chat Help, click on the box and enter a question or request. The question or request will come up on Connie’s computer screen and she can answer immediately. If the question or request is too complicated, Connie may ask the patron to visit her in the IRC so she can work in person with the patron. Any questions or requests are welcome, and Connie anticipates that this will become a popular tool for IRC users. “Any question they can ask in person can be asked virtually,” said Connie.