August 16, 2015 at 11:44 am #1026
This is my first actual post on my forum. It’s about critically reviewing a library service for which I chose my own university, QUT. “Chat service has existed in libraries for roughly 15 years. Zanin-Yost cited an exploratory service from 1996 at North Carolina State University using synchronous video chat through CU-SeeMe software.” (Miriam L. Matteson, Jennifer Salamon, and Lindy Brewster, 2011, p 173). Before today, I have only used it once, just to know what time they close on weekdays. But, this time I had a longer chat with the librarian and I found it pretty useful, convenient and easy. If it wasn’t a part of assignment I wouldn’t have still used it, and I would never knew how useful they were.
I was straight forward with them with my purpose of getting into live chat, as we have to place the question before we enter chat, and they respond to my questions very well. Few couple of months ago I remember I was browsing around website of a company and there popped up a live chat on the right hand side. I tried to use the chat service but no one replied for a long time. However, in QUT library chat service was way better than that.
Now these sort of services are very useful for anyone. As we have one or other things to do every time, it helps in saving time and energy by not having to be physically present in library and talk to someone in person. Similarly, sometimes when we are travelling in public transport (especially in train and buses) it becomes difficult to communicate in phone as it will be disturbing. In such scenarios, to enhance smooth flow of communication I recommend to use live chat services (as I used this service when I was in train going back home after my lecture). However, it had some strength and weaknesses, and that I would like to list them in following lines.
o Easy to share files, links, or other attachments
o Saves time, money, and energy
o Interference in middle of communication if connection lost
o May take time for slow typist
o May be really difficult to explain complex matter sometimes
Last but not the least, it was a nice experience to use the library live chat service of QUT. I strongly suggest everyone to use it as they are very wonderful service provider. They try to give all the small possible bits of information to help out the one who seeks their assistance. So far in my experience I have no any issues with using QUT chat service. I believe a lot of students have used this service, is there any moment when you were not satisfied with QUT chat service? Or anything you would suggest for improvement of this service? Please feel free to post your valuable thoughts on comment box.
August 18, 2015 at 11:16 am #1109Robynne Kilborne BlakeParticipant
Hi Saurav, it was good to see an anlysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the chat sevice set out in this way. I think it highlights that the chat service and the face to face service are both needed and complement each other. The ease and convenience of the chat is great when you are away from campus is excellent and the service provided is supportive and useful. But there are some times when you have a more complex problem that needs a lot of explanation, or when you get stuck and are having trouble expressing the problem, that it really helps to have a conversation in person. As you say, complex problems may involve a lot of typing and you might not express yourself as well as you can by speaking aloud.
Do you think a Skype (or similar) chat might resolve this, or is face to face still a better option? I like the idea of a Skype ASk a Librarian session, as I like to talk with my hands 🙂 but I still think a personal interaction in the library would sometimes be important to me, establishing trust and understanding in optimum circumstances.
What do you think?
August 30, 2015 at 8:42 pm #1534
Thank you for your wonderful comment. I agree Skype would be also a good alternative for face-to-face communication. As it is pretty much the same thing, but in virtual way. Like you said, yeah, we can express our problems in detail if we can communicate face-to-face (either in Skype or in real). However, real face-to-face communication is the best way, being actually present to talk with someone, and having a conversation virtually does have some difference. 🙂
August 30, 2015 at 5:56 pm #1522Caitlin .Participant
I just wondered what kind of question did you ask, were you seeking a reference type service or something else? Its good the positive and negative aspects of your post as I too have only ever used such a service for generic type queries such as closing times. Did you act on the information they provided you?
September 4, 2015 at 4:30 pm #1594
That time when I had a chat with a librarian I asked them about the service they are doing. It was pretty much not anything related to referencing, but I asked other questions like how often people use this service, who looks after this service, what do people say about this service, and their satisfaction level, and much more questions as such. I found them helpful in a sense that though questions were out of the topic, I suppose usually people don’t chat with librarian to ask such questions which asked, but still they replied and gave me information as much as they can. At the end, they provided me with contact of library manager (I forgot the exact name and position) but, the information I got was enough for me, so I really didn’t bothered to contact the library manager 😀
August 31, 2015 at 8:22 pm #1556Shannon FranzwayParticipant
Hi Saurav, I would be interested to know the query you asked also. I’ve used the QUT live chat service a couple of times, but only for referencing questions (just making sure I was doing the right thing with APA), so I’d like to see how something that is a bit more complicated is answered. I just can’t think of anything else that I would ask. Kind of goes back to the Twitter chat the other week, where so many of us library students are less than forthcoming with the questions of library staff!
September 4, 2015 at 4:36 pm #1595
Thanks for your query, I couldn’t post the questions I asked because of word limit. However, now I feel I should have had at lease few of them. Anyways, rather than any trading hour questions, or referencing questions, I asked other questions like how often people use this service, who looks after this service, what do people say about this service, and their satisfaction level, and much more questions as such. Despite of questions I asked, which was out of topic for them to answer, but still they replied and gave me information as much as they can. And, that made me feel they were helpful to whatever queries you come up with. Furthermore, yes like you said, it’s difficult to figure out any other/complicated questions to ask with the librarians in chat 🙂
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