Reference 24/7

It is 10 PM and a CSUB student who lives two hours from campus needs a specific article related to her group presentation. She’s not sure if the library has the article and she’d like to read the material before her group meets at 7:30 AM. Going to the Library’s home page she sees the Ask A Librarian screen. Sceen  Ask A Librarian 

 She types in her request and very quickly a librarian comes online to assist her. The article is available and the student has what she needs within minutes of using the service. Scenarios just like this happen every day and night with CSUB’s 24/7 chat reference service called Ask A Librarian. A free service to CSUB students, faculty, and staff, professional librarians both from CSUB and other academic libraries, work together in a consortium to provide this online service.

Librarians can assist users with the library’s databases, catalog, policies, and other reference questions. Additionally, the user receives in their email box a transcript of the session. If the librarian is unable to fully answer the question, the student’s question is forwarded to the CSUB library for follow-up assistance. 

Users find the system easy to use and frequently say they would use the service again. Students accessing the service may be at home, across campus, or even in the library building itself and have 24 hour, seven day a week access. CSUB users access the service by using the form on the Library’s home page or by selecting Research Help (in-person, by phone, online, E-mail) and then selecting the Ask A Librarian link.  Submitted by Johanna Alexander, Reference Services Coordinator for the Stiern Library 

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