How do I IM a librarian?
The fastest way is to IM a librarian it to type your question in the chat widget on our home page or from various pages within our site.
Read further if you would prefer to use a popular instant messaging network. You could sign into your favorite network, or Meebo.com, and send a message to umdlibaskus. If you have an instant messaging client, see this for more information. Add umdlibaskus to your contact list, double-click on the buddy name, and start typing your message. Alternatively, you are welcome to text us at 218-305-4600, e-mail a librarian, phone the Reference Desk at 218-726-8100, or visit for assistance.
When can I message a librarian?
IM is monitored during reference desk hours.
Who can contact umdlibaskus?
The service is intended primarily for UMD students, faculty and staff or for anyone with questions pertaining to the UMD Library.
What type of questions can I ask?
IM is intended to offer assistance in using the library and its resources. We can answer questions about the library, help you use the library's online catalog and databases, and help you find information on the web. We can also answer brief factual and ready reference questions. A suggested limit of 5-10 minutes will be placed on individual IM sessions. For inquiries requiring more time, librarians may ask that a session be continued by phone, by e-mail, or in person.
If you'd rather download and install a local IM client like Miranda, Pidgin, or Trillian, (see bigger list here) you need to have at least one account on one of the IM networks listed below. If you'd prefer to use multi-IM networks without downloading any software, then your best choice would be Meebo. With Meebo you can log in to any of your IM networks, including: AIM, MSN, Yahoo, Google and Meebo, all from a single page.
To get a screen name, use the table below, pick a network, and choose "Get a screen name." Or perhaps even easier, just go to Meebo, choose a network, and click on one of the New User? links. Choose a unique screen name, and download their free software (optional). Most networks offer a web client if you do not wish to download software. After you fill out a form and choose a screen name, you can also start using IM within a few minutes via any of these services.
Due to spam bots, we are discontinuing these services: MSN, Yahoo, AIM, and ICQ. You may still contact us though our chat services on our home page or from inside our databases. We do continue to use GoogleTalk as email@example.com[more info]
What about privacy?
All instant message sessions are recorded and saved for one month. We will make every effort to protect your privacy. Any information you provide will remain confidential.
Please feel free to e-mail a librarian with any other questions you may have about this service.