Mabee Library Reference staff uses software to manage and provide online research and reference assistance to UIW students, faculty and staff. When using the Ask the Library service, users have the choice of text chat or online chat in addition to telephone and email options.
Chat reference is typically limited to the UIW community e.g. students, faculty and staff. Issues such as business at the desk, time of semester and time of day will also determine whether or not the operator will redirect the chat patron.
The virtual reference service is staffed by experienced reference librarians and trained library assistants while on duty at the reference desk in Mabee Library.
It is part of Mabee Library’s mission to develop user information literacy skills during the chat transaction if possible.
**Referrals and follow-ups are the discretion of the staff on duty.