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Ask a Librarian 24/7 Reference Service brought to you by

Connect to a College Librarian Welcome to Live Online Reference. Research help 24 hours a day & 7 days a week.

Start: Enter the information requested on the right hand side of your browser window.What to Expect:

  • We answer reference and research questions and provide brief information about your local library.
  • The normal session is less than 15 minutes.
  • At the conclusion of the session, a complete transcript, including all chat and links to Web sites visited will be emailed to you.
  • In many cases, you may be communicating with a librarian who does not work at Southwestern College. All librarians are trained to assist students with their research. If you prefer to ask a Southwestern College Librarian, please use the information below for direct contact information.

Session Tips:

  • It is recommended that you use Internet Explorer as your browser for this session.
  • "Ask Us Now" uses live chat and "co-browsing" which allows the librarian to send sites to you live and for you to send sites back. If you have trouble you may need to have "session cookies" enabled, disable your firewall, and allow pop-ups.
  • Do not bookmark (add to favorites) or print anything during the session or you may be disconnected. All Web sites visited will be emailed to you.Use the forward, back and refresh buttons within the software's shared webpage frame.
  • If you must open a second browser while connected, use the "start" menu or taskbar shortcut, not control "n" or File "new."
  • If you are having trouble getting or staying connected see the troubleshooting information below.

Thank you for using our online live reference service!

  • Troubleshooting
    • If you are using Internet Explorer, or Netscape 4.79, 7.1 or 7.2, Mozilla or Firefox, and have "session cookies" enabled in your browser, the librarian should be able to take you to various Web sites to show you the answers. We will be able to "chat" with you in real time and send you Web pages via your browser during the session.

    • Opera, AOL's browser, and WebTV are not supported.

    • If you have a software firewall enabled, such as Norton Internet Security, you may not be able to see chat from the librarian after you connect. If you experience such a problem, please exit the service, and, if you wish to reconnect, either disable the firewall before you return, or check these instructions on how to configure it to work with our service. Remember to re-enable the firewall after the session is over!

    • If you do not want to disable the firewall, you may be unable to see the librarian's chat and vice versa, so, please try to be as thorough as possible when asking your question, and be sure to include your email address, because the librarian will not be able to chat with you. You will receive an email response within 10 minutes of termination of the session containing either the answer, or a request for more information in order to answer the question.

    • If you use Windows XP and have Service Pack 2 installed, you must configure it to work with our software in order to chat with the librarian.

    While the 24/7 Online Reference is available, you can contact a Southwestern College librarian directly during these available hours.

    To contact a Southwestern College librarian,

    • Stop by the a Southwestern Library Reference Desk during these hours
    • Call the Southwestern College Reference Desk at 619-421-6700 x5381
    • Send us an Email, it should be answered within 24 hours ( except during weekends & holidays).
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