I love the chat-option with librarians- it’s a quick, convenient way to get assistance, and it has been really helpful. However- there needs to be more than one librarian on it at a time. There have been times when I’ve been told they are ‘with a student and will be right back’, leaving me to wonder where are all the other librarians? Must this system shut down because one librarian is occupied with a student? A bit silly, don’t you think? Particularly if this is a used service, shouldn’t more be placed on the chatting option to accommodate the demand?
Thank you for your suggestion. It’s great to hear that our “chat with a librarian” service is well received.
We are aware that sometimes users have to wait to be served on chat …. and sometimes they have to wait in line to be served at the reference desk in the library …. or at almost every other kind of service point in their everyday lives. Although it would be nice to provide instantaneous service, everywhere, at all times, it simply cannot be. The benefit of chat is that at least the user is comfortably sitting somewhere and can continue to do their work while waiting.
Chat is only one way that students may communicate with a librarian: we also provide help by email, by telephone and, yes, in person! 🙂 All of our Ask-a-Librarian services are well-used and although the popularity of the chat service has been increasing steadily over the years, it only counts for about 5% of the total number of questions we get.
As for “where are all the other librarians”? In addition to helping students at the reference desk or on chat reference, reference librarians are often teaching, providing in-depth assistance to students and professors, selecting library materials, and working on special projects to constantly improve our services and collections. Librarians also participate in various library and university committees and research projects.
We are always looking for ways to improve and we definitely will keep in mind your comments when scheduling for all these service points. Thank you for taking the time to write to us.