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Life After Meebo: Evaluating Virtual Reference Services for Your Library in the Post-Meebo Virtual Environment

Your Name and Title: Laureen P. Cantwell, Assistant Professor and Instructional Services Librarian


Library, School, or Organization Name: University of Memphis Libraries


Co-Presenter Name(s): Dr. Pam Dennis, Associate Professor and Learning Commons Coordinator


Area of the World from Which You Will Present: USA


Language in Which You Will Present: English


Target Audience(s): New and established librarians


Short Session Description (one line): Just as you're ready to commit to a virtual reference tool...Meebo is no longer an option -- what else is out there and what's best for you?


Full Session Description (as long as you would like): No sooner were the University of Memphis Libraries about to choose Meebo as their virtual reference platform than Meebo was sold and we, like many other actual users of Meebo, found ourselves scrambling for a new plan. As many of us need to shift and migrate our virtual reference platforms, it's time to reevaluate what's available, what's affordable, and what our needs are, to better serve our users and gather critical usage data. A frustrating but exciting moment to be in -- we hope to choose a service that meets all our needs, including financial constraints. This presentation will discuss investigating chat and text platforms, negotiating and beginning product trials, and completing product evaluations – all towards improved understanding of which platforms accomplish what, how they accomplish what we need them to do, and possible pitfalls and shortfalls with regard to library and user type.


Websites / URLs Associated with Your Session: N/A

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Hi Laureen,

Great topic! I'm interested in learning more about your discoveries.


We'll be booking our session later this afternoon, so hopefully you can join us. If not, please be in touch, and we'll get you any of our materials after the conference! Thanks for your enthusiasm! 


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