Getting Started

To ask your question, click on the option for public or college library, and select the appropriate institution. Enter your question in the form to the right of that page and then click on the “Connect” button. Please include as much detail as possible as you type in your question. This will help us give you a better answer!

After you have sent your question, a librarian will send you a welcome message, and clarify your question if necessary.

When you are finished or would like to end the session click on the “Exit” link. When you or the librarian ends the session, you will see the full transcript of your session including hyperlinks to Web pages that were sent to you during the session. There will also be an option to email the transcript to yourself.

After your session has ended, you may also receive a quick survey asking if you found the service helpful. Please feel free to take a moment to let us know what you thought of Ask-WA.

Tips on Chat Communication

  • Be informal, but courteous.
  • Use short replies and hit the send button between sentences.
  • Expect what might seem like delays. Some questions require the librarian to search in several places to find exactly what you need.
  • If you have to leave the computer, please politely let the librarian know: for example, “Sorry, I have to go now – the computer lab is closing. Please email me whatever you find at [your email address]. Thanks!”

Session Transcripts

If you entered an email address at login, a full transcript of your session, including hyperlinks, will be emailed to you. If you entered an email address but do not see your transcript, be sure to check your “junk email” folder to see if it got filtered out.

If you didn’t enter an email address, you will have another chance to do so as soon as the session is ended. You will see the full session transcript and the option to email the transcript to yourself.