On September 13, 2004, the DiMenna-Nyselius Library joined AJCU (Association of Jesuit Colleges & Universities) libraries in unveiling a chat reference program. Of the 28 AJCU libraries, 19 are charter members of this new collaborative initiative that allows staff, faculty and students to chat online with a professional librarian at any time of the day or night using a Web browser. There is no additional software to download.
Once logged into the system, librarian and patron will be able to browse for resources together. Patrons will see on their screen all the databases and websites that the librarian is searching. The librarian will also be able to send MS Word documents and images to patrons online. At the end of each session, the patron will receive, via e-mail, a complete transcript of their conversation, including links to all websites visited.
This service is offered 24/7. Librarians at participating AJCU institutions will monitor each other’s programs, so a patron at one campus could connect to a librarian at a campus across the country, taking advantage of the 4 time zones spanned by AJCU libraries. An increasingly popular service, chat reference began here 2 years ago as a pilot project when the DiMenna-Nyselius Library contracted with a local consortium to provide 24/7 chat reference. This new collaboration provides the opportunity to interact with experienced professionals at academic institutions with diverse subject strengths and that share our Jesuit mission and identity.