Library Opens 24-Hour Net Reference Deskgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread
Library Opens 24-Hour Net Reference Desk
Librarians Will Answer Posted Questions
CLEVELAND, 10:59 a.m. EDT June 12, 2001 -- The Cleveland Public Library has opened an online reference desk that will be staffed around the clock.
Web users can post questions on the site and then librarians will get answers, photos and even give out research tips for free.
The Cleveland system is the first public institution to create a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week system.
Go to www.KnowItNow24x7.net to use the service.
Libraries have responded to research queries via e-mail in recent years, but the Cleveland system goes a step further by allowing a user to interact with a research librarian through Internet instant messages.
In the Web site's debut Monday, the site received a dozen queries ranging from the original source of the quote about youth being wasted on the young -- it was George Bernard Shaw -- to a more challenging question about how gasoline prices are determined.
The library staff will find answers to questions by using Internet search engines, printed material in the library and 135 research databases that are not available to the public. After 9 p.m., questions are fielded by a reference center in Maryland that the library has on contract.
-- PHO (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 12, 2001