Spotlight on: Chat with a Librarian

You may have noticed a friendly green icon on the right of the library’s homepage, with the inviting words: “Chat with a librarian.”

When you click this icon, a pop-up window will instantly appear, and – at any time of day or night – a qualified librarian will join the chat.

How, one wonders, does the Graduate Center keep its librarians available for 24 hours/7 days a week?

This seamless availability is not fueled by endless cups of coffee, but instead – through an international library consortium! Through a partnership across the United States and several other countries, librarians from other academic institutions can assist with questions here at the Graduate Center (and vice versa), therefore allowing students a more well-rounded access to reference assistance.

There are many ways to use this service to your advantage. To get a better idea, here are just a few of the questions we’ve received in the past:

  • I’m writing about Scholarly Communication in the Humanities and Academia and how it is changing. I’m not sure which database would be a good place for me to start my research, can you help?
  • I read about alumni having access to the library and borrowing books. How can I find out what my lending privileges are?
  • I’m trying to do research on a Herald Tribune article from 1963. Do we have access to digital copies, or is there a way I can request it to be scanned and sent to me through ILL?

As the semester rolls to an end, please keep “Chat with a Librarian” in mind. It’s a great way to get in touch with a librarian instantly, and resolve issues you might have while accessing databases remotely, or otherwise pursuing your summer research queries.

About the Author

Elvis Bakaitis is currently the Head of Reference at the Mina Rees Library. They're also proud to serve on the University LGBTQ Council, and as a board member of CLAGS: The Center for LGBTQ Studies.