Text, online chat research methods added in Dulaney-Browne Library

By Rachel Morse, Staff Writer

Library officials are expanding their resources this year outside the Dulaney-Browne Library.

Students can now ask questions about specific subjects through online chat or by text, said Lee Webb, reference librarian and associate professor of library science.

This allows students to get informed without needing to physically be at the library.

“We want to make our help available in the most convenient way,” he said.

Students can chat from the library’s webpage, or on a subject page specific to what they are researching.

The chat hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays.

The library added the text service in January, Webb said. Students can text a librarian at 405-445-3636.

“Basically every subject in the university has a librarian dedicated to doing reference and instruction on that subject,” he said.

The idea came from the collaborative efforts of the campus librarians, Webb said.

The number of student participants has continually increased, despite a slow response at the beginning.

“We didn’t have a lot of publicity at first, because we wanted to see how people would pick it up,” he said. “Right now we are just seeing how it’s going to catch on.”

The online chat went live in Summer 2011, Webb said.

This service, along with the new mobile version of the library website, is part of the library’s goal in giving students convenient access to material, he said.

“Everybody has a cellphone,” he said. “Making other services available on mobile devices is something we are interested in right now.

“Because we are interested in making our services available in the most convenient way, that’s something we need to be always looking at.”

Erica Geis, kinesiology sophomore, said it’s helpful to know she can just text for help with her homework load.

“It’s convenient,” she said. “It saves time from going all the way to the library and back.”

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