Need help, but can't get to the library? Now you can chat with a Madison College librarian on Skype, the free internet calling service.
You can place a video or voice call, chat via instant message, exchange files, and screen share, all at no charge.
To use the service, you'll need a computer with free Skype software installed, a microphone and/or webcam, a Skype account, and an online connection.
Then all you need to do is:
TO HELP US SERVE YOU BETTER, PLEASE IDENTIFY YOURSELF AS STUDENT, FACULTY OR STAFF AT THE START OF YOUR CALL/CHAT SESSION.
If you'd prefer to set up an appointment for a Skype reference session:
Skype is a Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) communication tool that can take the place of a conventional telephone or video chat. It allows clear conversation between internet-connected computer users anywhere in the world.
Q. When is Skype reference available?
A. Skype reference is available any time the Skype status button (see box on left) reads "I'm online." In general this will be Monday - Thursday 11 AM - 7 PM and Friday 9 AM - 4:30 PM. If your Skype call is not answered, the librarian may be helping another patron. To request a call back, please leave a Skype chat message, or call 258-2499.
Q. How will I know when Skype reference is not available?
A. When Skype reference is not available, the Skype status button will read "I'm offline" or "I'm away."
Q. Do I need an appointment to have a Skype reference session with a librarian?
A. No. You can make a Skype call any time the Skype button shows that a Skype librarian is online. If the Skype librarian is away from the desk or helping another patron, you can leave a Skype chat message or call 258-2499 to schedule an appointment.
Q. Are there times when it would be better to schedule an appointment?
A. If you know in advance that you are going to need more in-depth reference assistance, scheduling an appointment might be a good idea. This will ensure that the librarian can set aside sufficient time for your question.
Additionally, if you know you are going to need Skype reference assistance outside of regular Skype reference hours (see above), you will need to make an appointment.
Q. Do I need to have a videocam to use Skype reference?
A. No, a videocam is not necessary. You'll still be able to see the librarian and use the voice, chat, file sharing, and screen sharing features of Skype, even if you don't have a videocam or choose not to activate it.
Q. Can I make a Skype reference call from the computers in the library computer labs?
A. No. Skype is not installed on and cannot be downloaded to the lab computers.
Q. Can I make a Skype reference call from the South Madison and West Madison campuses?
A. Yes. If you're at a campus with limited library services, we encourage you to schedule a Skype appointment for research help. Bear in mind that you'll need to make your Skype call from a machine that has Skype software installed.
Q. If I don't have access to Skype, are there other ways I can get help without coming to the library?
A. You have several other options for getting help: you can call us, email us, or instant message us. (See "Need Help?" box to the right for details.)
If you experience problems using Skype reference, please let us know. This is a new service and we welcome your feedback on how it could be improved to serve you better.
Please call Virginia Bryan at 608-258-2320 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, if you have suggestions or comments.
We appreciate your input.