Virtual Reference Service using Meebo @ Katie Zepps Nursing Library (Kate Jonson)
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Virtual Reference Service using Meebo @ Katie Zepps Nursing Library (Kate Jonson)

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The Katie Zepps Nursing Library has recently implemented a virtual reference service using Meebo for its students, members and staff. Meebo is a free online messaging program which allows users to ...

The Katie Zepps Nursing Library has recently implemented a virtual reference service using Meebo for its students, members and staff. Meebo is a free online messaging program which allows users to monitor multiple instant messaging accounts (AIM, Yahoo, MSN, Google Talk, ICQ or Jabber) through one interface. Also, embedded on our library contacts page is Meebome a widget which allows our users to chat with us without the need for having an instant messaging account.

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Virtual Reference Service using Meebo @ Katie Zepps Nursing Library (Kate Jonson) Virtual Reference Service using Meebo @ Katie Zepps Nursing Library (Kate Jonson) Presentation Transcript

  • Virtual Reference Service using Meebo @ Katie Zepps Nursing Library Kate Jonson The College of Nursing, Katie Zepps Nursing Library Meebo me Introduction Meebo me is an embeddable widget that The Katie Zepps Nursing Library has recently implemented a virtual can be added to any web page. The widget reference service using Meebo for its students, members and staff. allows our users to chat with us without Meebo is a free online messaging program which allows library staff the need for having an instant messaging to monitor multiple instant messaging accounts including Aim, Yahoo!, account. See Figure 3. MSN, Google Talk, ICQ or Jabber through one interface. See Figure 1 and Figure 2. Figure 3. askkatiezepps Meebo me widget What is virtual reference and instant messaging? The American Reference and User Services Association (2004) describes “Virtual reference as a reference service which is initiated electronically, often in real-time, where patrons employ computers or other internet technology to communicate with reference staff, without being physically present. Communication channels used frequently in virtual Figure 1. Meebo login screen reference include IM client chat, videoconferencing, voice over IP, co-browsing, e-mail, and instant messaging”. Instant messaging also known as IM is a text based form of online communication which allows two or more users to type Individual Third party client messages back and forth synchronously. The software which client or Multi network client facilitates the communication is known as the IM client. IM clients can either be accessed via the web or are http://www.meebo.com Yahoo! Yahoo! downloadable free onto your desktop. IM clients can either Meebo work individually for example Yahoo! to Yahoo! or as third party clients, also known as multi network clients which allows Google Aim Yahoo! MSN ICQ Jabber users to log into many IM clients talk simultaneously for example Meebo. Figure 4. Diagram of the difference between an individual client and a third party client. (Davies, 2007. 153–154) See Figure 4. Figure 2. Meebo screen and web address Benefits Barriers • Accessible • Internet has to be connected Why IM? • No downloads • Sound has to be turned on The virtual reference service was established • Free • Only one person can be logged in at a time • Synchronous • IM to Phone – Not all questions can be answered to provide our clients with additional means • Easy to set up via IM of contacting us no matter where they are • Save chat logs • User identification – staff, members & students located. Our clients only need access to the • No security issues only internet and can identify whether or not we are How to develop your virtual reference service using Meebo online by checking the status of our Meebo me 1. Develop policies and procedures. widget or our buddy name “askkatiezepps”. 2. Setup an account with one or more of the following instant messaging clients including: Aim, Yahoo!, MSN, Google Talk, ICQ or Jabber. See Figure 5 and Figure 6. Figure 5. 3. Register for a free Meebo account. askkatiezepps status 4. Embed Meebo me widget into your library website. via Meebo me 5. Train staff. Figure 6. 6. Promote your instant messaging service. Some examples could include: askkatiezepps status • Business cards • Orientations • E-mail signature via IM client • Icons on desktop • Website • Library handouts. 7. Evaluation. Future developments Meebo rooms is a new addition to the Meebo family which allows multiple users to chat together simultaneously. The rooms can be configured to be private or public and you can embed the room on References your website just like Meebo me. Meebo rooms allow you to invite American Reference and Users Services Association (2004) buddies, receive notifications and has a co-browsing window to view Guidelines for implementing and maintaining virtual reference videos and links. The possibilities are endless for libraries and might services. Retrieved August 31, 2007 from http://www.ala.org/ala/rusa/ include using the rooms to collaborate with colleagues, clients, run rusaprotools/referenceguide/virtrefguidelines.htm meetings or hold group instruction. See Figure 7. Davies, K. (2007). AskNow Instant Messaging: innovation in virtual reference. The Australian Library Journal, 56(2), 152–174. Figure 7. askkatiezepps Meebo room