Ask a Librarian is administered by the Tampa Bay Library Consortium, and provides Florida residents with virtual reference services through live chat and text messaging from 10 a.m. to midnight Sunday through Thursday (ET), and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday (ET).
Email is available to patrons 24 hours per day, seven days per week, and all email is answered by the user’s local library.
The service’s slogan, “The Human Search Engine”, truly says it all! Ask a Librarian maximizes valuable staff time and resources by sharing reference services with a rapidly-expanding base of participating libraries throughout Florida. The ability to engage patrons in real-time chat sessions using a comfortable, intuitive user interface provides libraries and their users a competitive edge in a fast-paced Web world. The service’s core software allows libraries to generate powerful, on-demand statistics to assist them in planning and in local service development.