Saturday, June 28, 2008

Chat with a KCLS librarian

Can telephoneYou can reach a KCLS librarian online, by phone, and in person for help with reference requests. Your online options include Live Chat and Email. For the complete list of ways to contact a KCLS librarian, see Ask a Librarian.

Live Chat
This service provides up to 20 minutes of live chat service for your question. The main focus of this service is to provide quick information and referrals using online sources, including KCLS online databases, the library catalog and the Internet. For information on how to use this service, see About Live Chat.

Live Homework HelpFrom the beginning, the Ask a Librarian live chat service attracted a growing numbers of students needing math and science help — this type of help was extremely difficult to answer in a traditional chat environment. To solve this problem, KCLS started an online tutoring service for students in grades 4-12, and began to transition students from the Ask a Librarian live chat service to the new Live Homework Help service in 2005.

Students in grades 4-12 and those taking introductory college courses can receive up to 20 minutes of specialized help per session with homework assignments in math, science, English, and social studies.

Both these chat services are only available to KCLS cardholders. If you do not have a library card, you can apply for one online or in any KCLS community library.

Fast Facts:
Since online chat services started in 2003, the volume of requests has risen:
Volume of online chat services

Ask a Librarian
also provides an E-mail reference service available to KCLS cardholders. Note that you can search the library collection, place holds, and even renew items yourself by using the KCLS Library Catalog.

What types of questions do people ask?Questions
KCLS librarians receive questions about all sorts of topics. Here’s a sampling of questions asked:

Q: Where can I find free images to use in a presentation featuring historical photos of dams, hatcheries, and salmon?

Q: Where can I get statistics on the number of people traveling abroad for business and vacation?

Q: Where can I find information on how to build a hydrogen generator that converts water into hydrogen fuel?

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