Research Help Desk Chat Policy

Who can ask questions through the library’s chat?
The Ask a Librarian chat is intended primarily as a service for MHC and 5-College students, staff and faculty; it is also available to members of the public with MHC specific questions. During busy periods, priority is given to current Mount Holyoke community members.

Why use Ask a Librarian chat?
The questions most suited to chat are short, library, and library-resource related questions, eg. “Does the library have a copy of this particular article or book?” or “Who can I go to for help with this research assignment?” Longer, in-depth questions may be referred to library specialists for research consultation appointments. Chat reference sessions may be terminated for the use of inappropriate or rude language, harassment of any kind, or inappropriate use of the service.

Who answers the questions?
RIS librarians respond to questions.

 When is chat available?  How long does it take to get a response?
Chat service is available when the research help desk is open and staffed (see LITS hours page). If you do not receive a quick reply, the librarian may be helping someone else or be otherwise temporarily unavailable. You can leave the chat open and await a response, or email ris-d@mtholyoke.edu with your question to receive a response soon.

Are chats saved?
Transcripts of chats are not automatically saved. Relevant portions such as the question or description of an assignment may be sent to other librarians for referrals or follow-up.