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Ask a Librarian - Chat

QL Chat is a live, online reference service for questions that require only short, factual answers that can be found in online resources. Questions are answered by librarians, 24/7.

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QL Chat Guidelines:

  • What is QLChat?

    "QL Chat" is real-time (live) communication between two people via computer. Once a session has been initiated, either person can enter text on the keyboard, and the entered text will appear on the other user's monitor. During a session, you can ask a reference question via the library's website, and a librarian will respond back to you in real-time.

  • When is QL Chat available?

    As  part of an international library cooperative, you can chat with a librarian 24/7.

  • What are the guidelines for using QL Chat?

    The QLChat service is intended to answer brief, factual questions. Please be specific about what information you need when stating your question. If you have asked a question with a broader scope, you may get suggestions for further independent research. If you have questions about your library card account, please contact our Central Circulation Division at 718-990-0771 or your community library during regular library hours.

  • Will I get my questions answered faster?

    QL Chat, like our Telephone Reference Service puts you in direct contact with a librarian. Brief factual questions can be answered faster than our e-mail reference service which may take up to two to three (2-3) business days for you to get a response.

  • Do I need any special equipment or software?

    No special software is required. Any customer can access QL Chat via the Web, using either PC or MAC versions of standard web browsers, such as Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher, or

    Mozilla Firefox. If you are using pop-up blockers (e.g., software that attempts to stop unwanted advertising or other messages that open up new windows), the software may need to be disabled.

  • What is the difference between QL Chat and Ask-A-Librarian e-mail reference?

    With e-mail reference you can ask questions while the library is closed. With chat reference you can discuss and clarify with a librarian exactly what information you need.

Queens Borough Public Library is a partner with the Library of Congress, and OCLC as a member of  QuestionPoint, a global reference network of libraries.