Ottawa Public Library - chatting with a librarian just got easier

The Ottawa Public Library (OPL) is the newest member of askON, the real-time research and information service staffed by Ontario’s libraries. askON uses real-time chat technology to connect visitors with experienced librarians who can help find authoritative online information on a broad range of subjects for free.

By clicking the askON logo on the OPL’s website and typing in a question, students, consumers, businesspeople and other information seekers will be able to immediately chat with skilled askON staff located in an Ontario library. askON can help locate answers to quick questions, assist with more complicated research needs, deliver links to authoritative online information and provide help with search and digital literacy skills.

“The OPL board has identified responsive services as one of their key priorities in the Library’s new Strategic Plan. This is one example of OPL using enhanced technology to increase access and services,” said Joan Cavanagh, manager of OPL’s Reference & Information Services. “OPL has offered chat-based information service after school since 2005. Our participation in askON now allows us to offer this service 40 hours per week making it more convenient for students, researchers, business people and anyone in Ottawa looking for help finding information.”

OPL joins the ever growing list of communities offering askON: Asphodel-Norwood, Belleville, Cornwell, Fort Erie, Georgina Township, Greater Sudbury, Hamilton, Innisfil, Kitchener, Kingston Frontenac, London, Middlesex County, North Bay, Oakville, Pickering, Prince Edward County, Stormont Dundas & Glengarry, Thunder Bay, Vaughan, Waterloo and Windsor.

askON is a real-time information service, managed by Ask Ontario and supported by Knowledge Ontario, that helps Ontarians connect, using chat over the internet, with librarians who can help them find authoritative digital information and improve their online search skills. askON launched a pilot service in January 7, 2008 with public libraries from 10 Ontario communities. Each of the participating libraries contributed staff to the collective askON schedule. askON has grown to include 23 public libraries, 9 college libraries and 5 university libraries located around the province. For more information visit: www.askON.ca.

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