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Instant Message (IM) Research Assistance FAQs

Who can use IM services?
  Priority is given to SF State students, faculty, and staff. IM is also available to anyone connecting to the service from a campus computer. Questions are taken in a first-come-first-served order.
Who receives my IM?
  Messages are received at the Library's Research Assistance (Reference) Desk. If we are already assisting another patron, you may not get an immediate response.
What if I don't get a response?
  Try another reference service on the Getting Research Assistance page.
When can I IM?
  IM service will be online during the hours that Library is open (hours here). The "sfstatelibrary is offline" message will be displayed when IM services are not available.
What kinds of questions can I IM?
  Ask any library or information related question and we will do our best to guide you. However, because IM services depend heavily on online resources, questions requiring a detailed response or a variety of resources may be referred to another library reference service. Research Assistance service includes an element of teaching that empowers users to become increasingly independent users of information resources.
What about privacy?
  SF State's J. Paul Leonard Library is committed to privacy protection. Information collected via any of our research assistance services, including IM, is not shared with third parties. Any information (NetID, personal e-mail address, etc.) collected through the IM service will be routinely purged.

J. Paul Leonard Library - Research Assistance Philosophy

Librarians in the Research Assistance area (Reference Desk) of the J. Paul Leonard Library are committed to user-centered and approachable reference services. Our purpose is to provide relevant point-of-need services, resources, and information that support the education and research activities of University students, faculty, staff and members of the community. Our goal is to teach and enhance information skills that are necessary for academic success and in life-long learning. We proactively respond to users' changing needs by continually evaluating their expectations and realigning services to better meet those needs.

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J. Paul Leonard Library, 1600 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94132 - 415.338.1854 -
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