E-mail and Chat Reference Services
What is this service and how does it work?
InfoChat is a real-time online reference forum. You will be able to "chat" with a librarian. An example of one aspect of this service is that the librarian will be able to guide you through the steps of a database search and explain how and why each step is completed. You can also receive Web pages through your browser during your session and print and electronic resources are recommended. At the end of your session you will receive a transcript via e-mail which will include any URLs (Web links) that were sent to you.
Who may use these services?
E-mail and chat reference services are primarily for the students, faculty, and staff of Merrimack College. Members of the Merrimack College community will be given priority over users who are not affiliated with the college. Nonaffiliated users may use 24/7 services provided by Memorial Hall Library or be referred to their local libraries. Merrimack College users may be asked to provide the 13-digit barcode on the back of their Merrimack College ID.
What services will be provided?
Librarians will provide answers to brief, factual questions such as verification of a bibliographic citation, addresses of companies, or the definition of a word. Librarians will also provide a brief introduction to preliminary research-related tasks, as well as brief instructions for using the Web catalog, electronic databases, and other library resources to search for materials. In-depth research consultations will be referred to a reference librarian, or users may submit a Research Advisory Request Form online.
Types of questions that will not be answered
Librarians reserve the right to refuse to answer questions that may be considered offensive, inappropriate (profanity, racial epithets), or of an intrusive, personal nature. This service will also not provide the following:
- In-depth research such as compiling a bibliography, searching multiple issues of a periodical, or a lengthy research consultation.
- Genealogical research.
- Book renewals, holds, and other circulation requests. Please contact the Circulation Department at 978-837-5215 or email@example.com. You may also use perform some of these tasks yourself with your library card and PIN (Personal Identification Number). Click here for more information or contact the Circulation Department.
- Delivery of electronic full-text articles.
- Any other service deemed inappropriate.
Response time for questions submitted via e-mail
Every effort will be made to answer questions within 24 hours. At some times this will not be possible because of library hours of operation.