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"Instant Messaging and Collaboration" with Aaron Schmidt

Instant Messaging and Collaboration

Aaron Schmidt, Thomas Ford Memorial Library, Western Springs, Illinois

A recent survey indicated that nearly 70 percent of the U.S. university Internet population used IM. This session covers research, applications, case studies, usage, workflow impact, and ethics of IM. Schmidt looks at the many uses of IM, from in-house staff communication to the delivery of content and discussions with customers, as well as utilizing IM to confer and plan with colleagues no matter where they are. He shares the success of IM at his public library with teens in the community.

3 PM ET Noon PT
Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2005

The Benefits

This talk by a Library Journal "Mover & Shaker" and experienced instant messenger focuses on the concepts and uses of instant messaging as well as tools and tips for libraries looking to try IM in their environments.

Who Should Participate?

Anyone looking for innovative ideas and practices for their library and new technologies that can be applied in their environment to share information and knowledge and attract customers and users.

Key Topics You Will Explore

What is instant messaging (IM)?
How can IM be used in libraries?
Tools necessary for IM
Tips for effective IM
Further resources


Member: $48.00 + GST
Non-Member: $68.00 + GST

Aaron Schmidtis a reference librarian at Thomas Ford Memorial Library, Western Springs, Illinois. Like many young people, Aaron Schmidt loves electronic gadgets. But not for their own sake. He believes the future of libraries depends on how well we meet the needs of today's young adults, who are far more tech-fluent than most librarians. As reference librarian and all-around technology guru at Thomas Ford Memorial Library, Schmidt created the library's Web site using Movable Type, a publishing platform familiar to anyone who reads or publishes blogs. On the site, he offers reference by way of instant messaging. Better yet, on the homework help page, his message reads, "You may find what you need with these links, but don't give up if you don't. In most cases, getting in touch with the library will be faster, and you'll get a better answer. AIM us: thommyford." It did the trick. As Schmidt wrote in his own blog, Walking Paper www.walkingpaper.com, "Today I received my 100th question via AIM. We've increased our availability to patrons for no cost... I've done more YA readers' advisory in the past two months than I have in the previous two years. I can't help but think that I'm breathing some life into libraries for these kids." Jenny Levine, Suburban Library System, IL, says it's a "testament to his personality and abilities that he has become so prominent in just one year."

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