We officially launched our IM Reference services today at the Alexandrian Public Library!
I updated our website, updated our blog, and began talking up the service with a few teens, who immediately indicated that it was really cool, and they would totally use it.
Several jotted down our username, so that's a good sign. :-)
I'm going to submit our name to the LibSuccess Wiki, so that other, smaller libraries can glean hope that they too can IM!
And since Michael asked, I've posted the PowerPoint I wrote to train our front line reference staff on conducting IM Reference. The biggest concern for our staff was a total unfamiliarity with IM, so I wrote a very basic, very "bare bones" training so that they can see this stuff really is easy to do. Everyone seemed to breathe a sigh of relief after the session, and were willing to dive in and try it out.
I take that as a good sign too. :-)
The rest of the staff will be training within a week or two - though they won't be conducting any IM Reference, I want them to have a familiarity with what we're doing in case they get questions or need to explain it to our patrons. I want everyone at APL to own this, and realize this is a cool thing we're doing. I know there will be detractors, but that's okay. There always are. :-)
Plus, our director has given us the go-ahead to use IM for interstaff communication, which is GREAT. We have no intranet, no staff email accounts, so I think this is a great way for us to use technology to save a few steps, save a few minutes, and keep us all on the same page with each other.
Now, we'll just have to see if that actually happens...
In any case, I'm really, really proud of this service. I've championed it from the start, and now it's finally come to fruition.