• Tue. Jun 14th, 2022

Citrus Libraries: The human search engine | Community

ByVirginia D. Bannon

May 22, 2022

Libraries are often a person’s first stop in search of answers. We can direct you to physical and digital resources that cover topics at different levels.

But sometimes getting to the library may not be possible, or you want to use resources from another county. Luckily, librarians think of everything, and that’s where “Ask a Librarian” comes in!

Ask a Librarian is the ideal service for those who need help locating resources or obtaining information from hard-to-access databases. Are you trying to find an ancestor’s obituary from another county? Libraries can access genealogy databases that would otherwise require a subscription. Is this important stat hidden behind a paywall? Check with your library and we’ll send you a copy!

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So what is this service and how can you use it?

Ask a Librarian is available statewide and provides virtual reference services to all Florida residents. With this service, you can ask any question via SMS, email or instant live chat. The email service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and your questions will be queued for the next available librarian.

Using the messaging system will also download any files relevant to your question. For those who wish to use text messaging and live chat services, librarians are available 10 a.m. to midnight Sunday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday (all times Eastern).

So how do you access this service? Participating libraries will have a link on their website that will direct 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 and Resources” section.

If you prefer to ask your question to librarians across the state, go to askalibrarian.org and choose how to ask your question there.

When using text messaging, be aware that standard messaging and data rates apply.

For more information on current services and resources, visit your local Citrus County Library System branch and inquire about our free technology courses. Classes are taught throughout the county on a wide range of subjects, including internet basics. Additional courses 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.

Colette McDonald, is Teaching and Research Librarian, Coastal Region Branch, Citrus Libraries.