Tuesday, August 29, 2006

IM who IM

Locke Morrisey from University of San Francisco and Cindi Trainor of Claremont College gave a presentation on the use of Instant Messaging in their libraries at the CARL North IT Demystifying Virtual Communication workshop. Presentations from the workshop will be available on the CARL North IT website. Cindi's presentation is also available at her own site.

Locke mentioned some questions to consider when contemplating IM:

Who will you serve? (your campus only, anyone)
How do you staff I.M. (dedicated person or I.M. as a part of reference overall)
How do you handle I.M., e-mail, and in-person at the same time (a policy?)
What kinds of questions do you answer on I.M. (at what point do you transfer to e-mail or live?)
Are there security issues?

Cindi discussed using SMS as another tool to reach library users. She recommended two resources to learn more about IM: Library Success, a best practices wiki and Library Support Staff. In addition, Susan Boyd, CARL North I.T. executive board member and librarian at Santa Clara University created a bibliography called Selected Resources on RSS, Podcasts, Wikis, and IM for Librarians for the workshop. Cindy also discussed IM culture, marketing IM, technology and other issues. Locke and Cindy are using Gaim as their client software which allows for multi-use protocols. IM as another communication tool has been a success in their libraries.


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