Analysis and Lessons Learned Instituting an Instant Messaging Reference Service at an Academic Health Sciences Library: The First Year
Daniel G. Kipnis, Thomas Jefferson University

DATE: October 2008
SOURCE: Medical Reference Services Quarterly, vol27 ,iss4 , pp.33-51

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In February 2006, Thomas Jefferson University went live with a new instant messaging (IM) service. This paper reviews the first 102 transcripts to examine question types and usage patterns. In addition, the paper highlights lessons learned in instituting the service. IM reference represents a small proportion of reference questions, but based on user feedback and technological improvements, the library has decided to continue the service.