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Library Services 24/7

Library Services 24/7

Although today’s technology has expanded the range of information sources, it has not eliminated the established features of libraries, including the reference librarian. But event that job has evolved.

Alexander Justice, reference librarian and reference collection coordinator at LMU, participates in the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities Virtual Reference Service, which uses the Internet to provide library reference services 24 hours a day, essentially creating a space in which students can access library resources event when the library’s doors are closed.

LMU partners with 19 Jesuit universities nationwide to provide reference services via an Internet chat software program. Justice logs on for an assigned hour-long shift and takes questions from students at Boston College or Seattle University who “burn the midnight oil.” LMU students benefit in a reciprocal way.

Most questions, Justice says, are not institution-specific, and his help may come as a godsend in someone’s wee hours. But occasionally he gets a request he can’t fulfill.

“Every now and then we get a question like, ‘Hey, it’s too noisy up here on the third floor.’ And we really can’t help out in those situations because we’re not literally in their library,” Justice says.

To learn more about other services available at LMU’s Von der Ahe Library, please visit www.lmu.edu/library.