What is Skype?

Skype will make you work like Star Trek without the revealing jumpsuits. You can quickly shrink distances and chat face-to-face with other library staff quickly and for free using Skype. The multi-format easy-to-conquer program quickly installs and connects you instantly to your personal contacts to enrich your day at work with a bit of professional development via your computer, laptop, or smartphone. Skype can be your tool for chatting, video conferencing, document sharing and telephone calls. Connect with people in your professional circle, your library users, and invite special guests into the building without travel costs using Skype.

What can Skype do for you?

Video call — Check to see if your contacts are online and with one click, you can have a video chat. You can chat with up to six people at once, but the quality gets a bit wonky as you add more people. You don’t have to engage the video aspect of the call, and you can have a conversation using only voice.

Voice calls — Use Skype like a telephone for voice-only calls

Chat — Use your account to send instant messages to people in your contact list. Skype gives you the option of displaying your status, you can show if you are available, busy, or even become ‘invisible!’ Group chat is available, as long as everyone in your group has a Skype account.

File sharing — Send your contacts files from your computer easily and quickly, and mid-conversation!

Who is using Skype?

The Unquiet Librarian encourages us to strengthen our professional circles with a bit of Skype time.

Teachers are cash-strapped like library workers, check out innovative ways to enhance professional development  like the teachers do!

In Oregon, the Tigard Public Library used Skype to help the library users with technology.

Academic libraries are adding Skype reference services to their arsenal.

Let’s give it a try!

#1:   Go join Skype. Skype does a great job at guiding you through the process, importing contacts and helping create an online profile. If you need help at any time, there is a link to Skype help.

*Skype is a program that downloads to your computer. You will find it with other programs on your computer after you make an account.

#2:   Collaborate!

Add some of the instructors to your contacts and have a video chat: Sarah (Skype user name sarah.csekey), Marti (Skype user name zealofzebra), Lori (Skype user name schwarzlj6) and Shannon (Skype user name shannon.sedell).

#3:    Comment on this page with your user name and seek out others from the BPL to add to your contacts.

#4:    While you are having a video conversation, take a screen shot and post it to your blog. Include some musings on your Skype experience. Explore the other ways you can use Skype — instant messaging and voice calls, too. Did you have a favourite? What worked best for collaboration for you? How fast did you get over your stage fright?

Further Exploration

Skype is also a great promotional and program tool — this is a fantastic resource page libraries considering Skype author visits.

orangutans on Skype!

Skype is taking over, and that includes the dial tone.

This is a great graphic on Skype’s timeline.

The revamped phone booth — no Superman here!


Contact Sarah ( for help!

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