Did you know that Cook Memorial Reference Librarians are available to answer questions online during all the hours the library is open? You can use instant messaging to contact us via our Meebo widget. It’s found at the bottom of every search page in our catalog, and on all the pages of the Research a Topic portion of our site as well as the Homework Help pages of our Kids and Teens pages. You can also ask questions in person, by phone or email.
For over a decade we also participated in 24/7 chat reference through various services, most recently AskAway, which serves patrons all over Illinois. Our reference librarians staffed the service for several hours a week in exchange for the service being available to our patrons 24/7.
In recent years, as other means of finding information have become more commonplace, usage of the service has dropped off considerably. Additionally, we have observed that most patrons who submit questions to AskAway now assume they are connecting with librarians from their own libraries, and their questions usually relate to their own accounts, local collections or policies. Consequently, we have decided to stop participating in AskAway, and you will no longer see links to it on our web site.