Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Got a Question? Ask a Librarian

I've written about this before, but it bears repeating. The Arlington Heights Memorial Library is the best library in the world. Seriously. The librarians there are completely accessible and ready to answer any question you might have on any topic at any time 24/7/365. Really. And the best part? It's all free.

A few months ago, I was writing a blog post and needed to cite a Supreme Court case. Now I used to be a litigation legal assistant and once upon a time knew how to properly cite cases for every court in my sleep. Ya, I'm a geek. But I wanted a very specific citation and couldn't find it online.

What did I do? I IM'd the Arlington Heights Memorial Library via AIM and asked a librarian to look up the official citation for me. And within minutes I had my answer! If you've got AIM, just send your question to AHMLQuestions. I've added the Arlington Heights Memorial Library to my AIM Buddy List and they're really good about keeping their status updated so you know if a librarian is available. It's great, quick and best of all, it's free!

If you've got a business in Arlington Heights, there are also a ton of resources available to you for FREE. Call the Business Librarian, Barb Vlk and she'll answer all your questions.

The library has other ways to get help too. I received the following article from Bill Pardue, the Virtual Services Librarian at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library and am reprinting it here for your benefit.

Need to settle a friendly bet on the train? Want to know if a book is on the shelf while you're in the middle of a meeting? When there's no computer nearby and it's inconvenient to make a call, you can now send a text message to the reference librarians at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library's Answer Center.

The steps are simple:
  • Send a text message to 265010
  • Start your message with "ahmlq:" (leave off the quotes though). That's basically it!
  • Here are some examples:
ahmlq: What time does the library open tomorrow?
ahmlq: Starting pitchers in game 7 of the 71 World Series?
ahmlq: Arlington Hts curfew time for teens?
ahmlq: Copy of Obama's Audacity of Hope available?
  • After the first message, you just proceed with the texting as normal (no need for the "ahmlq:" part).
  • This service is free from AHML, but other standard carrier charges may apply.

Generally, texting works better for quick questions, given the restriction to shorter messages. If we feel that the question needs more in-depth work, we'll offer to follow up via phone or e-mail.

The text messaging service is available Monday-Friday, 9 am-9 pm; Saturday 9 am-5:30 pm; Sunday Noon-5:30 pm. This is most of AHML's open hours, except for the last hour on weeknights.

Of course, you can still call the answer center at 847-506-2633 or use the 24/7/365 chat service via the Ask A Librarian Live Online links on our website (http://www.ahml.info).

The library's main number is 847-392-0100.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for leaving a comment on Little Merry Sunshine. Due to the volume of spam comments, all comments must be approved to ensure they are not spam or spambots. Thank you for understanding.