From a technical point of view, there are three different types of chat today:
- The Internet Relay Chat (IRC), which was developed in the 1980s and requires its own chat server and client software.
- The relatively uncomplicated web chat, in which the chat software is already integrated into the HTML pages, for example using browser plug-ins .
- Instant messengers that emerged in the 1990s and where chat is not conducted in a public channel, but only between those who have the appropriate software installed on their computers.
Chat information in libraries
The chat information belongs within the library to the digital reference service, which is the organized information service of a library that uses the communication channels of the Internet . In addition to the three forms of IRC, web chat and instant messenger, so-called web contact centers are sometimes used, the software of which, in addition to its usual use in companies, has also been adapted to the special requirements of library needs. These contain a large number of individual applications that offer various options for action - for example the function of cobrowsing , with which the librarian can open websites on the user's computer and thus show him research. This especially plays a role in the possible teaching of information literacy.
In particular, due to the changed search behavior of users due to the rapid development of the Internet, it has become increasingly important that libraries respond to this digital information need by offering an appropriate range of electronic services in order to continue to be perceived as information providers.
One of these services is also chat information, which has been made available in libraries in the USA since the late 1990s . This service makes it possible for the first time to offer a synchronous form of communication over the Internet. For the first time, chat can avoid the often lamented delay as well as the lack of interactivity in the digital information.
In Germany, chat information was started in 2000 as part of the Digital Reference Service. So far, this service has only been used in university libraries . The first of the now eleven university libraries to use chat was the Trier University Library. This was followed by the Technical University of Hamburg-Harburg at the beginning of 2002 , the Library and Information Center of the University of Oldenburg in March 2002, the Library of the University of the Federal Armed Forces Hamburg in July 2003 and the Saxon State Library - Dresden State and University Library in October 2004 .
In terms of area, the focus of German chat information is in North Rhine-Westphalia . So far, six university libraries have offered chat here. The first chat information began in October 2001 in the Dortmund University Library . This was followed by the end of 2001, the University Library of Wuppertal , in December 2003, the University and State Library of Münster , in March 2004, the Bielefeld University Library and finally in January 2005 , the University Library Dusseldorf and Bochum University Library .
In addition, there was also chat information at the headquarters of the Hessian Library Information System (HeBIS), which only answered questions about the HeBIS service.
In 2018 only a few of these offers are still active: Bielefeld, Dortmund, Düsseldorf, Hamburg (Bundeswehr), Trier.
- Christine Gläser: Electronic information service in real-time operation: Chat offers in Anglo-American libraries. Possibilities of transferability to German libraries . In: Berlin handouts on library science , Berlin 2001, 99
- Sonja Härkönen: Library information service in the information network - Digital Reference consortia in the USA . In: Cologne working papers on library and information science , 36, Cologne 2003, urn : nbn: de: hbz: 832-epub4-708
- Gesa Krauss, Isabell Leibing: Ask us online! - Comparison of chat information in the German library system and the concept for introducing this service at the library of the University of Konstanz . Stuttgart 2005, urn : nbn: de: bsz: 352-opus-14614
- Sören Niehäuser: Authorities and Innovation - A practice-oriented study using the example of the introduction of the “ User information via chat” service to university libraries . Master's thesis, Political Science, Institute for Political Science, Westfälische-Wilhelms University, Münster 2005, hdl: 10760/6857
- Hermann Rösch: Digital Reference in Germany. Overview and specific skills requirements (PDF) In: World Library and Information Congress. 69th IFLA Conference and Council. Berlin August 1-9, 2003
- Sabine Wolf: The Web Contact Center - A Challenge for Libraries , Diploma Thesis, Information Science, University of Applied Sciences Potsdam, 2004. In edit. Form included in "Successful Management of Libraries and Information Facilities".
- Thomas Zachlod: Workshop digital information . 8th Inetbib conference in Bonn, November 3, 2004, doi: 10.17877 / DE290R-14302