The Human Search EngineColette McDonald
Libraries are often a person’s first stop in the search for answers. We can point you to both physical and digital resources that cover topics at a variety of levels. But sometimes getting to the library may not be possible, or you want to use the resources from a different county. Thankfully librarians think of everything, and that’s where “Ask a Librarian” comes in!
Ask a Librarian is the perfect service for those that need help locating resources or getting information from databases which are difficult to access. Are you trying to find an ancestor’s obituary from another county? Libraries can access genealogy databases that would otherwise require a subscription. Is that important statistic hidden behind a paywall? Check with your library, and we’ll send you a copy! So, what is this service and how can you use it?
Ask a Librarian is available state-wide and provides virtual reference services to all Florida residents. With this service you are able to ask any question through text message, email, or live instant chat. The email service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and your questions will be put into a queue for the next available librarian. Using the email system also allows for the upload of any files relevant to your question. For those that wish to use the text and live chat services, librarians are available 10 a.m. to midnight Sunday through Thursday (ET), and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday (ET).
So how do you access this service? Participating libraries will have a link on their website that will refer you to their Ask a Librarian page. To ask a question specifically to Citrus County librarians, you can find the Ask a Librarian link at the very bottom of our website (citruslibraries.org) or in the “Services & Resources” section. If you would prefer to ask your question to librarians throughout the entire state, go to askalibrarian.org and choose how to ask your question there. *When using text messaging, please be aware that standard message and data rates apply.*
For further information on current services and resources, visit your local branch of the Citrus County Library System and ask about our free technology classes. Classes are held throughout the county on a wide range of topics including Internet Basics. Additional classes and resources can be found by visiting www.citruslibraries.org/programs-events/technology-education or you can get more information by calling your local branch.