Online Chat Services

This week we’ll be exploring two online chat services:


If you are interested in learning more about chat services, please check out the Optional section at the bottom, which will introduce you to Trillian, Pigdin, Adium, and more.

Mosio for Libraries

Mosio for Libraries

Mosio for Libraries is web-based patron support software for libraries that allows patrons to choose how they want to communicate: via web chat, text messaging, or email.


To start, watch this video:

Features for Libraries:

  • Set up is simple with no formal training necessary
  • Web-based (nothing to install)
  • Multi-channel – text messaging, web chat and email
  • Runs reports, gathers stats, and analyzes usage


Check out the following links:

What do you think? Take a moment and jot down your first reactions to Mosio for Libraries while they are still fresh in your mind.

Next up is LibAnswers w/ LibChat!

LibAnswers w/LibChat

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LibAnswers w/LibChat combines real-time chat service with email reference, SMS messaging, and a knowledge base to help libraries connect with users.

Features include:

  • Widgets at point of need
  • Smartphone and tablet friendly
  • One reference tool for everything
  • Usage statistics

Click here to learn more. Once on that page, click on LibChat Video to see how it works.


What do you think? Take a moment and write down your first reactions to LibAnswers w/ LibChat.


Reflect on your reactions to Mosio and LibAnswers post to your blog or post a comment at the bottom of this page.

Here are some questions to consider:

  • Which service did you like best?
  • Do you think it would be a good fit for your library? If so, why?
  • What features would be useful to librarians and why?
  • How would the service benefit your community?
  • What would be the first steps of implementation?

Make sure to check your colleagues’ blogs and comments to see their reactions!


Hungry for more? Check out Trillian! 

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Trillian allows you to chat on many different networks including Facebook, Skype, Google, MSN, AIM, ICQ, Yahoo and more all in one place. Libraries can establish a presence on many different services and answer all the inquiries from one place. Trillian is compatible with both a Mac and PC environments.


  • Free
  • Chat with contacts on different networks
  • Downloadable
  • Available on many different devices including phone, iPad, and more


Check out Trillian’s Knowledge Base to find out more about installation, adding accounts, mobile devices, and any other questions you may have.

Feeling brave, download Trillian to check it out first hand!

DePauw University Presentation on Using Trillian 

Other chat services to explore on your own…

Additional Resources

RUSA Guidelines for Implementing and Maintaining Virtual Reference Services

Library Success: A Best Practices Wiki – Online Reference

This Learning 2.0 module was originally designed and implemented by students in Dr. Michael Stephens‘ Transformative  Learning & Technology Literacies class in the Spring of 2013.  This class is part of San Jose State University’s School of Library and Information Science curriculum. It was authored by Terri Artemchik for the Washington University Libraries in St. Louis. It is available for use for other libraries or institutions.  This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.