Michael Stephens conducted a survey of library use of instant messaging. He presented a quick summary of the data on his blog, Tame the Web.
Are library staff allowed to use IM at their work computer? 21.2 percent said yes, for professional use only; 2.7 percent could for both professional or personal use; and only 25.6 percent said “no.”
Does the library where you work use IM for reference and outreach? 62.7 percent responded “no.” Of the 37.3 percent saying “yes,” 9.4 percent worked in public libraries, 25.3 percent in academic libraries, and the rest in school, special, and other kinds of libraries.
Does the library where you work have plans to launch IM for reference and outreach? Almost half (47.8 percent) said “no.” Of those with plans to implement IM, most were in public or academic libraries (10.5 and 11.2 percent, respectively).
What does this all mean? Most libraries are not taking advantage of this easy-to-use technology to communicate with younger clients. This is especially true of school and special libraries. Get with it, people! (that’s me talking, not Michael)