The Little Box in the Corner: Chat Widgets Offer Safe and In-Depth Reference
Keywords:online live chat service, chat, access, chat with work from home, live chat reference, live chat with students, live chat in higher education, LibChat live online chat, LibChat on Springshare, Blue Mountain Community College Library
Those of us working in libraries, including university and college libraries, know the challenges the COVID-19 pandemic brought to light. However, we also know that many (if not all) of these challenges existed pre-pandemic and will continue to exist when we have reached a post-pandemic future. Issues of connectedness and access to services—and to people—will continue to be a concern for any institution aiming for improved equity and outcomes for those they serve. Blue Mountain Community College (BMCC) in Pendleton, Oregon, implemented LibChat, an online live chat service made for libraries and hosted by Springshare. Since its implementation in April 2020, LibChat has already assisted the BMCC Library and its wider community with these issues, as it applies to everything from internal communication, flexible work schedules and environments and, of course, response to student, faculty, staff, and community needs. Additionally, LibChat can continue to assist with these issues as we move forward and evolve with our community and its needs.