What is Virtual Reference?The Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities uses Chatstaff, a chat center staffed with professional librarians, to provide around-the-clock assistance. LMU encourages the use of this service at times when our own Ask a Librarian chat is not staffed. Clicking the Virtual Reference link on our Get Help page launches a chat session with one of the service's librarians. Virtual Reference is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with a few exceptions: What are the exceptions to the Virtual Reference hours?Virtual Reference service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with the following exceptions:
Who am I working with in a Virtual Reference session?The location of the librarian you are working with depends on the day and time you access the service. LMU librarians staff the Virtual Reference service about ten hours per week. At other times the session may be with a librarian at another Jesuit institution or with a librarian with a company we contract with to cover night and holiday hours. All are professional librarians, but LMU librarians will know our collections, policies, and classes best. If you don't get the answer you need, please come to the library Reference Desk or call us at (310) 338-2790.Will Virtual Reference work if I am a Mac user?Virtual Reference will work with Macintosh computers, but there are some limits on the functionality. The librarian will able to point you to resources, but may not be able to guide you through pages.What types of questions can I ask in a Virtual Reference session?You can ask any type of questions you like in a Virtual Reference session. Shorter, more specific types of questions are easier to answer in the chat format, such as checking to see if LMU owns an item, finding a few articles on a subject, or finding factual information on the web. If you are looking for a large number of articles, for example, or beginning a major research project, we'd suggest coming to the Reference Desk or scheduling an appointment with an LMU Reference Librarian. See our Get Help page for hours and contact information.Who can use LMU's chat, text, and Virtual Reference reference services?Our intended audience for these services is LMU students, faculty and staff.
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