After-hours Live Chat: Ask a Librarian


Use this service when the Kennedy Library Live Chat Service is closed. You will be connected to a librarian at another participating university. Open 24/7!


  • If you provide an email address, you'll receive a transcript at the end of the session, including links to web sites discussed.
  • Don't try to bookmark sites visited during the session, as this could disconnect you from the chat. Refer back to the transcript instead.

Thank you for using our online live reference service!

System Requirements

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.

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.

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

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. Please check these instructions.

If you are a MAC user we will be able to send you web pages, but you will not be able to take us to other websites during the session.

Using Ask a Librarian

We are prepared to answer reference questions and provide brief information about your local library. The normal session is less than 15 minutes. The librarian can either give you the answer, or show you how to find the answer yourself next time, if you like.

The 'Email Address' field is a recommended field. At the conclusion of the session, a complete transcript, including all chat and links to Web sites visited will be emailed to you. If you do not have an email address, or do not wish to have a transcript sent to you, you may leave that field blank.

Please do not try to bookmark (add to favorites) or print anything during the session! At the end of the session, you will receive a list of live links, which will allow you to go back and visit all of the pages the librarian showed you. You can bookmark anything you want at that time. If you try to bookmark during the session, you may experience a disconnect.

There are forward, back and refresh buttons within the software's shared webpage frame that you can use.

If you must open a second browser for any reason while connected, please use the "start" menu or taskbar shortcut, not control "n" or File "new". If you do so, you will crash.