[Update Nov. 12, 2015: The Ask a Librarian App is now out of beta and in production!]
We'd like to invite all libraries to become part of the new Ask a Librarian App currently undergoing beta testing. Ask A Librarian is a mobile app that we've developed in conjunction with our back-up service partner, Chatstaff, that connects patrons to a library's reference services, including chat, texting, email, and frequently asked questions. Any library or library consortium, regardless of software platform, can be included in Ask a Librarian at no charge.
What does the Ask a Librarian app do?
When patrons aren't sure what libraries are nearby, they can use the browse function that locates nearby libraries or libraries around a particular location. Patrons can also search for their favorite library by name. The app remembers the libraries patrons have visited previously so they can quickly revisit those libraries and pick up where they left off. And patrons can favorite and revisit libraries later.
Each library listing summarizes available virtual reference services. These services may include real-time chat with librarians, text a librarian, phone a librarian, email a librarian, and frequently asked questions. Libraries can also include a customized avatar, a website link and additional free-form information such as operating hours.
How can I test drive the Ask a Librarian app?
For iOS, send us a request by email and then we'll be able can send you an emailed beta invite through Apple. The Ask a Librarian app itself works with iOS 6 and higher. But while the app is in beta testing, it is only available through Test Flight which requires iOS 8 and higher.