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Tales From the Co-Op: June Exchanges

Welcome back to our second installment of Tales From the Co-Op! If you missed our first post in this new series, be sure to check it out here: May Exchanges.

What is the LibAnswers 24/7 Global Chat Cooperative? As the name suggests, the Co-Op brings coverage to your library's online LibChat service - all day, every day, anywhere in the world. It's staffed by our in-house MLS-degreed librarians along with tons of cooperative members from contributing libraries.


We're bringing years of expertise from academic, public, school, and special libraries and putting it to work helping connect your patrons to library resources and research assistance. Here's how it works: When your librarians are unavailable, a Co-Op librarian will pick up any online chat request from your patrons - so your patrons get help right away! Our Co-Op librarians have answered countless questions over the years, covering everything including library policy and FAQs, access to digital content, searching strategy, and more.

In Tales From the Co-Op, we're sharing snippets of real-life interactions between patrons and Co-Op librarians. We'll take every opportunity we can to highlight amazing interactions from the Chat Cooperative - but don't just take our word for it. One patron commented on their Co-Op chat interaction to say, "I can't describe how amazing Libby Librarian was! I feel so much better about using the library for research!"

Please note that we care about privacy as much as you do, so we've removed all identifiable details from these transcripts and have assigned fun aliases to patrons and the answering Co-Op librarians.

Curious Queries

Librarians never know what they may be helping with on any given day! When a unique research topic comes up, this gives our Co-Op librarians the chance to dig in, ask questions, and guide students on their research journey. Happy searching indeed!

May 3, 2024 | 1:08 pm

Pablo Patron: Hi! I'm working on my final research essay for my English class. I have a bit of a difficult question to research: How does the absence of oral storytelling affect cultures, like that of the Native Alaskans. I have a few things I know I can talk about, but I feel like I don't have enough information.

Lydia Librarian: What an interesting project! I have a few follow up questions just so I can make sure I help you find the information you need.
Lydia Librarian: First off - are you looking for sources to consult when looking at this question? If so, what kind of sources are you hoping to find? Books? Peer-reviewed articles? Newspapers? Interviews? Something else?
Lydia Librarian: Secondly - are you asking how the absence of oral storytelling impacts cultures where that used to be a norm? Or just cultures that never had oral storytelling to begin with?
Lydia Librarian: Finally - can you tell me a little bit about where you have searched so far and what keywords you have tried?

Pablo Patron: I'm mostly looking for peer reviewed articles! I'm focusing on how with oral storytelling involved in a culture ends up with the loss of traction, and for the specifics of Native Alaskans, how the absence of this leads to further erasure of culture. Some of what I have looked up so far was keywords like "Inuit storytelling" "Oral storytelling" and then I also have an article with some information on some of the indigenous boarding schools that existed in the 19th century, to provide some context as to why these kinds of cultures are being stripped away from people in the first place.

Lydia Librarian: Perfect - what a great start. Let me take a look at what I can find - give me a moment.
Lydia Librarian: Ok - so I'm starting with the library's search function and trying a search for "inuit" and "oral storytelling" and had a few hits. I'm going to start sending over some articles. Take a look and let me know if this is on the right track. If not, no worries. I just want to make sure we are down the right path.
Lydia Librarian: "Sharing stories: The Saskatchewan Aboriginal Storytelling project" *
Lydia Librarian: "On Narrative Expectations: Greenlandic Oral Traditions about the Cultural Encounter between Inuit and Norsemen" *
Lydia Librarian: "The Legend of Qajuuttaq: Exploring the Potential of Inuit Oral History in South Greenland" *
Lydia Librarian: "'Common Disaster'?!: Three Works Revealing the Importance of Inuit Presence and Inuit Oral History" *

Pablo Patron: These all seem on the right track!

Lydia Librarian: Perfect! so - I would suggest using the boolean phrase AND with keywords - it will allow you to search for multiple keywords at the same time. So for example - in the library search you can type: inuit AND "oral storytelling" - that will tell the system to search for articles that have both keywords
Lydia Librarian: You can also filter along the left side of your screen to just articles.
Lydia Librarian: Does this get you started or would you like me to hang out for a bit?

Pablo Patron: I think this will get me started! Thank you for the guidance!

Lydia Librarian: Of course! Happy searching!

*Links to institution's search removed for privacy

Spotlight on Librarian Excellence

Librarians provide incredible reference support every day, and this includes our Co-Op librarians! In this chat, our librarian connects the patron with a relevant LibGuide from their institution's library, then showcases some stellar searching technique.

January 4, 2024 | 3:57 pm

Penelope Patron: May I please get help getting peer-reviewed journal articles on scleroderma, how nurses are treating? I am trying to do the research but am having a hard time. Research is something that I am not good at.

Lucas Librarian: Hi Penelope. So, you are working on research for an assignment in a nursing class, is that correct? And the topic is scleroderma AND treatment, right?

Penelope Patron: Yes

Lucas Librarian: Okay, so one option you have is to use this Nursing Research Guide (link to institution's LibGuide removed for privacy). This guide provides information and resource options for nursing research and assignments.
Lucas Librarian: Can you please pull up the library homepage and let me know when you do?

Penelope Patron: Ok I am there

Lucas Librarian: Give me a moment to work on search terms for this topic
Lucas Librarian: Alright, so enter the search terms below exactly
Lucas Librarian: scleroderma AND treatment AND nursing

Penelope Patron: Ok done

Lucas Librarian: Okay, so you can apply filters to refine and narrow the results. First, you said you need peer review?

Penelope Patron: Yes

Lucas Librarian: Click on peer review, check the box, and apply
Lucas Librarian: Do you have any date requirements? Such as a 5 year span or 3 year span?

Penelope Patron: Within 5 year

Lucas Librarian: Okay, scroll down for publication date, change the first date to 2018, check the box, and click refine

Penelope Patron: Got it. Thank you for your help

Lucas Librarian: Does this information help you get started?

Penelope Patron: Yes, thank you so much!!!!

Lucas Librarian: Please do not hesitate to sign in again if you have additional questions or need further assistance. Librarians are here 24/7/365 to assist you.

FAQ-tastic Interactions

Why reinvent the wheel? Sometimes, the perfect help from a Co-Op librarian comes in the form of a LibAnswers FAQ from the original institution! Here's an example of how sharing the right FAQ at the right time ensures quick, accurate, and streamlined service - while also helping library users know where to look in the future, too!

April 28, 2024 | 9:10 pm

Paula Patron: Hi, are visitors allowed in the central library?

Lilly Librarian: Hi, Paula, this is Lilly. Did you want to borrow items or use the computers, or just visit?

Paula Patron: I wanted to visit to study as no other libraries are opened late.

Lilly Librarian: Thanks! This FAQ Can a guest use the library? (link to institution's LibAnswers FAQ removed for privacy) says that they are open to the public 7 am to midnight. There's a link there where you can check hours, to be sure they are open at the time you want.
Lilly Librarian: Is there more I might do to help for now?

Paula Patron: No, that was all. Thank you so much!

Lilly Librarian: You're very welcome ~ Come back anytime at all!

For more information about the 24/7 Global Chat Cooperative, contact

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